According to their own website, TfL directly fund 68 dedicated Cab Enforcement officers.
Below is an example of official spin directed, at the media from TfL, to justify their appalling record on compliance and enforcement. Last year saw a staggeringly low number of convictions. After almost doubling the Cab Enforcement Unit, convictions are still embarrassingly low.
Other the last 3 years we have seen an escalation of touting in central London on a scale never witnessed before and yet a professional Metropolitan Police unit returns a hit rate of convictions at less than 2 a week! And this is double the rate of convictions for the same period in the previous year!
It's interesting to note, that these apparent 46 convictions do not appertain to 46 separate drivers. It would appear —by examples given to the media— minicab drivers have been charged and convicted of multiple offences, which could mean the figures given relate to just 16 individual arrests.
Sayed Mustafa, of Acton was found guilty of three offences and at the City of London Magistrates' Court on September 2 was fined £1,200 and disqualified from driving for six months.
Kandasamy Rajendran of Harrow, was found guilty of three offences at Westminster Magistrates' Court on September 18 and was fined £375 with six points added to his driving licence.
2 drivers 6 convictions....it's called spin!
Personally I think TfL and the Met should be hanging their heads in shame.
TfL Press Release:
A record number of rogue cabbies (do they mean minicabs) have been successfully prosecuted by Transport for London (TfL) this year.
In the last six months, 46 cab drivers (they are not cab drivers, they are minicab or Private Hire drivers) working across the capital have been convicted following action by TfL of various offences, including driving without insurance.
The rise in convictions - from 38 during the whole of 2014 - follows a crackdown by TfL, which doubled the size of its compliance team to 82 officers earlier this year.
Steve Burton, TfL's director of enforcement and on-street operations, said the increase was testament to its work to improve passenger safety and stop illegal cabbies (again, they are illegal minicab or private hire drivers not cabbies) undermining law-abiding drivers.
"We are using a broad range of tactics to deter, disrupt and apprehend drivers who are touting or illegally plying for hire and we will push for the toughest penalties available for anyone caught by our teams," he added.
In addition to the prosecutions by TfL during the last six months, the Met's cab enforcement unit arrested 267 drivers for touting and unlawful plying for hire offences over the same period. So far, 53 of them have been convicted and 80 cases are still pending
So, that taking into account that multiple convictions are counted from each case, very few of the arrested touts actually make it all the way to a prosecution and conviction. At present the multitude of touts seen around the capital have more chance of winning the lottery than being convicted of touting.
It's time we asked the question "Is our compliance budget being spent wisely?"
The compliance teams (made up mainly from bus inspectors on overtime) have no actual power and are not seen as a deterrent by touts. Would this manpower be better utilised as marshals controlling timed ranking facilities outside night venues?
After nearly 18 months of complaints from the Taxi trade, about the illegally plying for hire and prolong waiting by Private hire drivers at St Pancras, TfL's bus inspectors finally show up to move on the perpetrators.