Saturday, August 17, 2013

Good Enough For The Streets Of New York, But Banned From London By BoJo.

American broadcasters NBC has pulled off another brilliant marketing campaign before the start of the 2013-14 Premier League season this weekend.

NBC, who have bought the broadcasting rights to show the EPL in America this season, have released a new fleet of London cabs onto the streets of New York all bigging up start of the soccer campaign.

Cabs emblazoned with the club crests of Tottenham, Arsenal, Everton and Liverpool are currently being spotted around the Big Apple, and pictures of the vehicles are popping up all over social media websites.

Pictures of the Tottenham, Arsenal, Everton and Liverpool London cabs in New York can be seen below.

 NBC unveil Tottenham, Arsenal, Everton & Liverpool London cabs in New York [Pictures] NBC unveil Tottenham, Arsenal, Everton & Liverpool London cabs in New York [Pictures] NBC unveil Tottenham, Arsenal, Everton & Liverpool London cabs in New York [Pictures] NBC unveil Tottenham, Arsenal, Everton & Liverpool London cabs in New York [Pictures]

'Not enough taxi users to go round' Worcester has same problem as London

   Worcester Taxis Having To Park On Double Yellow Lines, To Wait For Rank Space.

TAXI drivers in Worcester say their reputation is being unfairly “trashed” because they are all competing for too few customers.

The trade say too many licenses have been dished out in recent years and that they back suggestions from politicians to potentially cap numbers for the first time.

The drivers have also hit out after a row of them were pictured in your Worcester News waiting on double yellow lines in Foregate Street.

One of the culprits, who refused to be named, said: “I feel like our reputation is being trashed purely because there are too many of us and not enough room to park.

“I was waiting there because the rank was full. I dropped a customer off and must have been there for two or three minutes before I moved on.

“We are being blamed for something when in fact, the council knows there are too many licenses being handed out and not enough rank space or customers.”

Taraq Mahmood, another Worcester-based driver, said: “More and more drivers have come on the roads but the ranks don’t get bigger.

“We have all been struggling and the solution is simple – stop the plates.”

The Worcester Taxi Drivers Association is asking members of the trade for donations to raise money for a survey to be carried out.

The unmet demand survey, which will cost about £9,000, will see cameras placed above the ranks to see if taxis are left waiting for people to turn up.

In 2001, Worcester had 102 taxis, including private hire cabs, but that number has since risen to a record high of 288.

If the survey shows there are too many taxis, it could see the city council introduce new measures to reduce numbers.

The council is hoping the survey will be complete over the next three months before the next licensing committee meeting in November.

Councillor Paul Denham, licensing committee chairman, said: “Once they’ve got the results it can be brought to the committee so we can look at it. We want to see some control over the number of taxis.”

Source: Worcester News On Line.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Roydell Green sentenced for thefts from taxi cabs

Man sentenced to 10 months imprisonment for 31 offences of theft from unattended licensed taxi cabs

On 5 August Roydell Green was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment for two counts of theft from a motor vehicle .

Back on the 26 June Roydell Green pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court to two charges of theft and confirmed that he wishes for the sentencing court to take into consideration a further 29 offences he had committed. 

Between 11 April 2013 and 25 June 2013 the City of Westminster suffered 31 thefts from unattended licensed taxi cabs. These cabs had been left locked and unattended on ranks in Regency Street, SW1, Bryanston Street, W1 and Marylebone Rail Station while the drivers took refreshment breaks. Many items were stolen including cash, licences, iPhones, iPod and documentation. 



Officers from Westminster's Crime Squad investigated the series of crime and discovered through diligent research a man with a previous history of such offending in the targeted area who had recently returned to London. 

Enquiries showed Roydell Green returned to London on 5 April with the linked offences starting on 11 April. DC Damian Hill trawled through CCTV and witness statement of offences within the linked crime series which led him to Roydell Green. 

On 25th June 2013 Roydell Green, a 34 year old man from Harrow Road London, W10 was arrested at his home address. During the police interview with his solicitor present, Green admitted 31 offences of breaking into licensed taxi cabs in Westminster. He was subsequently sent to court in custody charged with two sample offences where he then asked the court to take into consideration the remaining 29.

On 26th June Green pleaded guilty and was remanded in custody, remitted to Southwark Crown Court for sentencing that took place on Monday 5 August 2013. He received a total of 10 months imprisonment for two counts of theft from motor vehicle and breach of a community order with the other offences being taken into consideration.

DC Damian Hill said:  "Mr Green is a prolific offender who targets licensed taxi drivers operating in Westminster. There have been no offences since his arrest in Westminster matching his MO and a substantial reduction in reported offences in relation to crimes involving London Taxis."

Taxi Drivers Taking The Proverbial In Glouster Square.


Reported Problem:
We have been informed by the night porter at Chelwood House in  Gloucester Square, that the residents, who are frequent users of the private gardens opposite, have complained to the local council and police, after a number of plastic bottles containing urine, had been picked up by young children playing in the gardens.

Westminster council, have erected covert CCTV and have alleged this to be the work of Licensed Taxi Drivers, pulling up and parking opposite Chelwood House, urinating into bottles and throwing them over the fence into the garden. 

Signs have been erected by residents along the length of the square opposite Chelwood House.



WARNING 
The council have employed the use of an undercover team that are keeping watch and any driver caught doing this will be reported to the police and the licensing authority (LTPH).

This is thought to be a very small, minority of drivers, this type of behaviour is totally unacceptable. No one would like to see a young child mistake a bottle of urine for a discarded bottle of soft drink. The consequences of this would be unimaginable.

While we do not condone this type of behaviour, it must be pointed out that it's extremely hard, especially during the day to find somewhere park and answer the call of nature.

Owing to the complete lack of public toilets in the area and with local hotels refusing to let Taxi drivers use their facilities, driver have now resorted to urinating in screw top plastic bottles. Nothing wrong with that, when you have to go, you have to go. But, these bottles should be disposed of properly. There are plenty of bins in the Westminster area. If you can't find a bin, then store the bottles in the boot and take them home. (Although there could be a problem with public health issues).

The real culprit here is of course Westminster City Council, who have closed almost all of the public conveniences in the borough and have made no allowance for workers in the area such as Taxi and private hire drivers.

Taxi trade representatives are willing to meet with Westminster City Council's Martin Low at any time to disgus this problem.

Perhaps they would like to sanction a rest rank outside Westminster City Hall in Victoria Street and make the facilities there available to Taxi drivers on a 24 hour basis. Perhaps TfL could also get involved by allowing drivers to use the toilets in Windsor House, Pallestra, Pier Walk, plus all bus garages and tube stations.  

GREAT NEWS FOR NIGHT DRIVERS 

As from Monday, 19th of August, the New Royal Oak moves 50 yards over to the old sports hall and will be open 24 hours. 

With ample parking both front and back accessible from North Wharf Road.
The facilities Including male, female and disabled toilets, which will be freely available to every Taxi driver.



Thursday, August 15, 2013

Police step in as parking battle erupts in Cambridge



A parking battle has erupted among taxi and lorry drivers in Cambridge, prompting police to step in.

Taxi drivers have clashed with delivery workers over the city centre rank in Sidney Street, triggering late-night ‘blockades’.

Delivery lorries are parking up on the rank, leaving taxis without a place to stop to pick up fares.

Paul Bradley, of Cambridge Hackney Carriage Association, told the News: “We are staging a mini-protest but we are not inconveniencing the public regarding our night time rank on Sidney Street. We have put up for weeks with work vehicles for shops illegally parking and blocking the taxi rank – 40ft lorries have started blocking it up for a few weeks every night.

“This same problem happened last year causing a massive problem with several altercations between drivers and workers and is set to happen again, and as such taxis are staying on ranks spaced out so they can’t do this as the work vehicles are able to stop elsewhere.”

But the taxi drivers claim they are being “ignored” by police.

Mr Bradley said: “It is a criminal offence to park or stop on a rank except for taxis but we are ignored by police and traffic wardens and anyone else we speak to about this.

“Private cars enter, speed and park illegally in this pedestrian zone unchecked. The police are very quick to ask us to move or we get a ticket when we can’t get on a rank.”

The Cambridge Hackney Carriage Association is a new group formed “out of frustration of not being listened to by anyone,” Mr Bradley said.

But Cambridge’s city centre policing team have now taken action.

A police spokesman said: “We are aware of the issue and spoke to drivers at the location on Monday night. We also issued Fixed Penalty Notices for parking offences committed by those unlawfully using a taxi rank.

“We have passed details of the incident onto the city centre management team so they can assist in the resolution of the problem.”

A county council spokesman said: “We enforce parking in the city centre but have received no complaints about lorries parking in the taxi rank areas of Sidney Street in the evening. We will now give it extra attention.”

Fifty taxi drivers were fined amid a zero tolerance crackdown on ‘over-ranking’ in St Andrew’s Street amid concerns about cars queuing beyond the end of the taxi rank.

The fines were issued in the campaign early this year.

Minicab related sexual assaults through the roof: Councillor recommends supplying cheap taxis home

Wear a short skirt to get a cheap taxi: 
Council considers fare discount for 'scantily clad girls' to stop them being attacked by sexual predators, using lines of illegally plying for hire minicabs to find victims.

Brentwood Borough Council considering urging Taxi Drivers to drop fares for women in revealing clothes to prevent them becoming a target from sexual predators.

This is a problem, that has been created by councils and licensing authorities unwillingness to enforce the law on private hire. When it comes to clearing the streets of potential trouble makers and drunks, Police and enforcement teams are turning a blind eye.

But now they now are looking at getting cheap deals from licensed Hackney carriage Taxi drivers, after statistic for sexual assaults including rapes have shot through the roof.

Police in London say 90% of minicab related sexual attacks go unreported and the figure could be as high as 25 per week.

Councillor Hossack who blames TOWIE for women who 'can't possibly wear any less' was slammed for emphasising how women dress rather than their attackers


The Councillor came under fire yesterday when he accused reality TV show TOWIE of encouraging sex assaults on women.


Cllr Hossack said female stars of the show - who sometimes wear revealing clothes - were responsible for more young girls dressing provocatively.

And he said the ITV1 show encourages men to try to take advantage of such women on nights out.

He said: 'Has TOWIE made an impact? I think it has.



    TAXI, TAXI, ANYONE WANT A TAXI? 


Predator Ebrima Dampha, was caught on CCTV helping a drunken woman to a minicab – before raping her. 




Private Hire Act Loop Hole, It's A Complete Free For All : LTPH Enforcement, A Joke.



Thames Private Hire, of 168 Shoreditch High Street seem to have lost their licence through revocation or expiry (that's assuming they ever had one) for their premises in Shoreditch and are no longer listed on the TfL PH company website.

As we have come to expect with private hire operators, the company in Shoreditch have taken no notice of their revocation of their licence and are on the street openly touting, opposite the Tea Rooms, complete with a clipboard Johnny and sandwich board man.

So what's going on in Shoreditch?

The companies Website, is still online offering a private hire service, but the normal LTPH logo we have come to expect on all PH websites has mysteriously vanished.

According to the TfL Site, Thames Private Hire has an office licensed by LTPH in Camden, in the name of Abul Hasan Ahmed - ID: 7701, licensed till 2016, which we assume to be their main operating centre.
There are no records of Thames Private Hire on Companies House or Company Check websites.

Amazingly Thames Private hire Camden, doesn't have a website and the only Thames Private Hire website up and running belongs to the Company who are no longer licensed at 189 Shoreditch High Street.

Confused...it gets worse.

They (Thames Private Hire, Shoreditch) are linked through their website, to a company based in North Harrow.
Minicabster Ltd, formally AnyCabs Ltd. 
Harrow Business Centre,
North Harrow,
HA1 4HN



Minicabster is also not licensed by LTPH as this is another one of those companies who just take bookings and pass them on to local minicab companies. 

In fact this is just (a loop hole), a way around the Private Hire act that forbids a PH company using the words Taxi, Taxis, Cab, or Cabs. Companies like Minicabster advertise as hospital Taxis or mainline rail station Taxi service. They also allegedly pass work on to individual drivers unconnected to any operating centre, which we believe would make them an operating centre.




How have our representative orgs, the ones who engage with LTPH, let things get so out of control.

What ever happened to the Private Hire consultation of 2010?

If Sir Peter Hendy can amend the London Cab and Hackney Carriage acts to make the displaying of ID badges compulsory, why can't he close these gaping loop hole?
Surely fellow TfL board member and Vice General Secretary of our largest representative Org, Bob Oddy, has bought this to his attention?

The administration of PH licensing is farcical. TfL Policy is overlooked and inexplicably turns into "Just Guidelines".
Blind eyes have been turned to illegally plying for hire for too long. The lack of enforcement, when it comes to touting, is placing the public at serious risk and its time action was taken. 

LTPH have made much fuss about a few Taxis parked at the rear entrance to Paddington Station in Pread Street W2 and have even gone to the trouble of sending along compliance officers to take photos and issue warnings with threats of revoking licences of repeat offenders. 

And yet, LTPH have made no genuine effort in tackling the enormous problems in the city and West End with touts, seen every night of the week. 

Also, contra to what their Twitter account announces, they still haven't tackled the continuing illegally plying for hire and subsequent touting at Regent Street by Swallow Street Arch.


Familiar sight every night from 10pm till 5am at Regent Street and Swallow Street Arch. Private Hire Cars and Van, illegally parked in Bus Lane, illegally plying for hire and openly touting.

What was the point of licensing private hire if you are not going to enforce the terms of the Private Hire legislation that allows it.

Are TfL/ LTPH only interested in the revenue from drivers and operators?

At the moment, Central London, is a free for all, with drivers and cars coming to the capital for as far away as Manchester at week ends just to tout. They know they have more chance of winning the lottery than getting nicked for touting.

It's time LTPH was bought to task over the incompetent and consistently poor performance of LTPH's enforcement of PH.



Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Ad for Bexley, Greenwich, Lewisham and Bromley minicab firm Data Cars sparks online rage over 'rape exploitation'

WHAT do you see in this picture – a woman walking home in the rain because she hasn’t booked a cab or a victim of rape?



Minicab company Data Cars delivered 200,000 postcards bearing this image to homes across the area, insisting it merely shows a woman caught out by the weather.

But, within hours of the cards hitting south east London doormats, complaints rolled in accusing the company of exploiting sex attack victims.

Minicab ad campaign sparks online rage over ‘rape exploitation’
Outrage
The postcard publication started a frothing wave of online outrage, with angry comments on the Data Cars Twitter feed and complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority and Transport for London.


Mel Johansson complained: “What the hell is this horror that just came through my door?”
Twitter user John Traynor wrote: “Hello @datacars, just seen your ad on a postcard; is it saying: ‘Pay for a cab or you might be dis-robed and beaten’?”

Others said shadows on the girl’s body resembled bruising and she looked in some distress, likening it to adverts for minicab safety campaign Cabwise.

Dee Elms wrote on the site: “Check the bruises on her arms. That’s what bothered me. ‘Use our cabs – or u gonna get RAPED!’”


Katie Russell from charity Rape Crisis said: “This is a really unfortunate and misguided piece of advertising.

“The best case scenario, giving the company the benefit of the doubt, is that they’re not aware of the associations that the image on this postcard conjures.

“The worst case scenario is that they’ve knowingly used scare-mongering, sexist and victim-blaming imagery and messaging in a cynical marketing ploy.”


Apology
Data Cars manager Les Chapman said he was inspired to run the campaign after seeing his teenage daughters coming home from a night out looking like “drowned rats”.
He said: “The way we viewed the image, it is simply a girl who has gone out on a hot summer evening and the predicable British weather has opened the heavens and she got soaking wet.
“This is something we see every year and this year we decided to place an advertising campaign with this in mind.”

He said the wording on the back of the postcard makes it clear: “You should look just as great coming home as you did going out, so don’t gamble on the weather… get a Data Cars minicab.”
But it seems not everybody has got that message.

He said: “I think in life people see everything in different ways. Most people who have looked at it, I’d say 99.5 per cent, have seen it exactly for what it is.”

Mr Chapman went on: “The comments can be frustrating as we promote safety more than any other minicab company in south east London and would obviously apologise if we have offending anyone.”

He said: “Data Cars have always been at the forefront with safety ideas and were the first local company to introduce drivers’ ID badges way back in the 1990s as well as the first to text the vehicle details of the customer nearly 10 years ago."

source: http://www.newsshopper.co.uk/

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

School governor punched Minicab driver after being refused entry to Euston strip club

A school governor who assaulted a Minicab driver after being refused entry to a strip club has escaped jail.


School governor Joseph McCann assaulted a Minicab driver after being refused entry to Secrets strip club in Euston

Company director Joseph McCann, 31, punched minicab driver Kamal Hussain in a drunken rage outside Secrets table dancing club in Eversholt Street, Euston.

McCann, of Southbrook Drive, Cheshunt, also smashed the wing mirror on Mr Hussain’s Mercedes as he took out his frustration after being denied entry to the topless club on June 21.

Mr Hussain was one of a number of Licensed Minicabs drivers illegally plying for hire and touting, outside the table dancing night club  

The chief executive of Teach Now, an education recruitment consultancy based in Finchley, pleaded guilty to common assault and causing criminal damage at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court.

He was fined £250 at a sentencing on Friday and handed a total bill of £705 including compensation to the victim and costs.

McCann, who is a governor at a Cheshunt primary school and has links to Haringey Sixth Form Centre, told the court: “I am sorry. I’m a governor of a school, I’m a friend of Haringey sixth form, I do a lot for disadvantaged children and I’m a bit gutted that I’m here today.”

District Judge John Perkins said: “It’s clear alcohol played its part in making you behave out of character.”

As usual nothing happened to the touting minicabs who were left alone to carry on illegally plying for hire outside the club by the police after the incident. 

Source: Ham and High


Editorial note to the Ham and High's Tom Marshal:

Private Hire drivers both licensed and unlicensed, who tout outside strip clubs/ night venues, are not Taxi drivers. It is unlawful for them to refer to themselves as such. This is not the first time we have had to complain about your papers misplaced use of the term Taxi/Taxidrivers. 

This is just another instance of lazy journalism from your reporters.

Above, your article has been amended to show how it should have read...please take note for further articles.

Jim Thomas, Editor 


The original article makes repeated references to the assaulted driver as a Taxi driver. It's time we fought back at the media's constant misuse and abuse of our name.


If you wish to make a complaint to The Press Complaints Commission use this form:-
www.pcc.org.uk/complaints/form.html

Fight for business leads rival taxi companies into 'cybersquatting' row