Mayor answers to London
Illegal Minicab - prosecutions
Question byDarren Johnson
TfL took over responsibility for prosecuting minicabs illegally plying for hire from the Metropolitan Police Service over a decade ago. Can you confirm how many such prosecutions TfL has pursued, broken down by year?
Answer by Boris Johnson
I am aware that local authorities outside London prosecute Taxis and Private Hire drivers for plying for hire, however this is due to the fact the legislation outside London differs from London. In basic terms, outside London, under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, a licensed vehicle is always considered licensed and is, in most cases, clearly identifiable as a private hire vehicle due to its colour or identifiers. This makes the offence of 'plying for hire' clearer and has many stated cases. In London, a licensed private hire vehicle is only considered licensed if driven by a London licensed private hire driver undertaking a booking for a London licensed private hire operator. Therefore a licensed vehicle parked may not be considered plying for hire as it may not be working.
For this reason in London, touting and associated problems are addressed by intelligence led enforcement activities involving the 68 TfL funded police officers in the Metropolitan Police Safer Transport Command (STC) and City of London Police as part of the Safer Travel at Night (STAN) initiative. STAN involves a programme of activities including industry regulation and licensing, enforcement and education.
The Mayor, TfL and its police partners are always pushing for the strongest penalties for touting and other cab-related offences to provide a more effective deterrent. It is for this reason that licensed private hire drivers convicted or cautioned for touting lose their TfL licence for a minimum of one year. Since the policy was introduced in August 2008, almost 1,000 drivers have had their licences revoked for touting.
Tactics and sanctions are kept under regular review to determine what is the most effective and appropriate action and/or sanction in given situations. TfL is currently reviewing its approach to illegal playing for hire offences as part of the joint TfL/MPS cab enforcement strategy.
It's clear to see Mary Boris Johnson has completely sidestepped the question and given a different answer which was not asked for. Three years later Boris still refuses to answer, so we will answer for him.
Minicabs prosecuted by TfL for illegally plying for hire, broken down by year:
2002 = 0 2005 = 0 2008 = 0 2011 = 0
2003 = 0 2006 = 0 2009 = 0 2012 = 0
2004 = 0 2007 = 0 2010 = 0
Of the 24 tout squad offices in the City of London funded by TfL, complete with state of the art control centre at Wood Street Police Station, not one arrest for illegally plying for hire. Money well spent?
Editorial Comment From Semtex :
Respect and hats off to the hard punching 24 TFL Tout Squad Officers based at Wood Street and the 68 (my arse!) Intelligence Led (???) Officers from the Met, in blitzing the illegal and potential terrorism associated dangers of mini cab touting in our Capital! The Safer Travel Command was indeed, money well spent and with their impressive arrest and prosecution targets met as expected in the figures above, we should be extremely proud of them.
These Officers would like to thank St Dunstans for their exemplary and ongoing Training Initiatives, and London Taxi Drivers would like to thank Boris Johnson, in allowing the Pants On Fire School of Intelligence, to be of assistance. A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Safer Transport Command was quoted as saying " My officers would like to thank David Blayne in his tireless help of proving to our officers that they cant see a hole through a ladder, and the incredible act of tout arrest, is purely a delusion on their part".
With Boris's tounge twister regarding the criteria of different taxi status both in and out of London, we now know why The Taxi & Private Hire Licensing Briefing Paper, recently drafted by Louise Butcher, titled "What is a Taxi?" has become such a huge seller !
If I couldn't do 100 times better than these totally incompetent, pathetic, untrained, imposters, fraudulent, limp wristed, wage taking deceivers, in a week than they have done in 10 years, my old bills a bloater !
I could do better out there on my own than these lot , honest I could !
Absolutely two bob mate ! Waste of money, waste of time waste of space !
Sack the lot of them tomorrow or put them on a no nick no wages basis !
They would starve to death mate !
Intelligence Led Compliance ?? My lilly white arse !! They couldn't spell it !