Undercover ‘sting’ sees crackdown on illegal plying for hire:
(Unfortunately, this was not in Central London where it's needed the most.)
Several Milton Keynes minicab drivers were caught driving illegally after a crackdown involving Milton Keynes Council and Thames Valley Police.
The operation, carried out over the weekend of October 5 and 6, saw 10 private hire vehicle drivers caught allegedly plying for hire in and around the city centre.
Why are we not seeing this every weekend in Central London where minicab related sexual assaults are escalating at an unprecedented rate as a result of illegal plying for hire, which is out of control.
Why has the London Taxi trade been lumbered with a Managing Director of surface transport, who obviously couldn't care a toss about cab related public safety and can't wait to unload the responsibility of licence enforcement to a different agency.
Surely if he can't do the job efficiently, he's the one who should be unloaded by TfL.
The drivers will now be dealt with according to their respective licensing authority policy, which could see them appear at Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court.
The operation was carried out as part of an ongoing campaign to promote safety, protect the public and educate private hire and taxi drivers, said a spokesman for Milton Keynes Council.
The council and Thames Valley Police were growing more concerned over members of the public safety using private hire vehicles without booking before hand. As private hire vehicles, they are not allowed to pick up fares on the street and can only drive those who have pre-booked, unlike Hackney Carriage drivers. An accident would see these illegally hired minicabs insurance claims nullified for drivers and passengers.
Karen Ford, head of the council’s regulatory unit, said: “The council promotes a fair trading environment so when a driver has not paid for a Hackney licence, but still picks up fares straight off the street this is unfair to those Hackney Carriage and private hire drivers who are operating lawfully.
Police superintendent, Barry Halliday, said: “These types of joint robust operations are focused on keeping people safe, nothing more.”
In London, TfL/LTPH have only managed to successfully prosecute one (yes just one) minicab for illegally plying for hire in the 13 years they have been responsible for licence enforcement.
Part source: http://www.miltonkeynes.co.uk/