The next part of the report concentrates on putting over the concept that all these offences are committed by unlicensed minicabs which, as every Taxi driver knows, is definitely not the case.
Complaints originated from local bars on Battersea Rise (who now have satellite offices, so no conflict of interest there), who say they were concerned about the safety of their patrons and the influx of unlicensed touts outside their premises at closing time.
(By unlicensed, do they mean minicabs who didn't pay commission to the door staff?.. Nowhere in this report is it mentioned that door staff were taking back handers from minicabs to supply them with work. Are the Met seriously asking us to believe this wasn't going on)
Security staff from Stop Shop Security, Clapham Junction, also complained that the amount of touts at the front of the station caused disruption to travelers and presented a genuine risk to health and safety.
(From the word "touts" are we to understand these are licensed minicabs touting)
Numerous Metropolitan Police crime reports link unlicensed mini cabs to a variety of offences on the traveling public and late night revelers. This was research was based on information gleaned from police databases and Safer Transport Intelligence reports and have been a well documented problem Pan London.
(Still insisting that all these offences are being committed by unlicensed minicabs)
This was compounded by documentation sent in by the London Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) containing registration marks of offending vehicles and photographs of illegal touts.
(The evidence from the LTDA shows licensed minicabs touting, this seems to be skipped over by report)
Local legal mini cab firms (Grand Cars and KVC Taxi’s) also expressed concerns that unlicensed mini cabs take their custom and pose an unfair competition to their legitimate businesses.
When and where
We took into account the complaints we had received but deemed it necessary to conduct our own research into the times and location of the problem.
To establish the peak of these offences, police databases (CAD, CRIMINT & CRIS) were scanned over a six month period (October 2009 to March 2010) for evidence of arrests and relevant information reports, which provided us with quantitative data. In addition to the complaints we had received this provided a realistic indication of times/dates.
The Clapham Junction Hub Team gained qualitative data by conducting public surveys around the Clapham Junction and Battersea Rise area (12th March - 09th April 2010, 458 people surveyed), asking if they had been approached by touts and if so when. The questions were as follows;
1. Do you live in or socialize in the Battersea Rise/Clapham Junction area? 2. Do you travel home late at night, if so what time?
3. What venues do you frequent and what time do you usually leave?
4. What is your usual means of transport to and from the area?
5. Have you ever been offered a mini cab, if so where/what time? 6. What day/night does this usually happen?
8. Do you take these cabs, if so why?
9. Would you consider hitch-hiking on your journey?
10. Do you question a cab driver or ever ask for company identification? 11. What potential dangers do you think taking a mini cab could be?
(Notice the question missing?...Do you know the difference between a licensed and unlicensed minicab?)
This gave an accurate timescale as to when most activity was occurring, namely Friday and Saturday nights in the early hours when the pubs and nightclubs were emptying.
Police officers conducted plain clothed intelligence operations, spanning one month (April to May 2010). The data from these was collated and a database opened highlighting repeat offenders and detailing the time, dates and scale of the problem.
Research identified twelve regular unlicensed mini cabs and drivers in the Battersea Rise and Clapham Junction area. Our observations told us there was average of between four and eight irregular visiting touts also visiting these areas.
(At last an admission! Of all the hundreds if regular offenders touting in this area the Met only managed to identify 8 irregular unlicensed Minicabs. Lets remember that their research took place over a 13 month period.)
This report has been written in the same style of the smoke and mirrors we get regularly from LTPH and TfL.