London is clamping down on crooked cabbies, with a recent statement from the City of London Police highlighting the consequences of non-compliance. Earlier this year a man was disqualified from driving for two years, as well as slapped with a £1050 fine. The sting came after he was found guilty of two counts of taxi touting, failure to display a private hire badge and three counts of driving uninsured.
As one of the busiest cities on the planet, London is home to thousands of cabs, most of which comply with government laws. However not all drivers are honest, with some insisting on operating without the right credentials. Now, the City of London is taking a hard line and not hesitating to issue non-compliant taxi drivers with hefty fines and penalties.
Last year a 38 year old man from Thamesmead met his match when officers pulled him over in front of a shopping centre in June. His vehicle displayed several private stickers and when asked about his company he claimed he worked for a Shoreditch based taxi firm. Police were suitably suspicious and after running a quick electronic test, they discovered he was both unemployed, uninsured and not in possession of a private hire license. Despite receiving a warning he reoffended in September, when two plains clothed police officers pinned him down as part of a taxi touting operation.
This February he was sentenced at the City of London Magistrates court which revoked his license and issued him with the £1000+ fine. City of London Police Inspector Dave Aspinall stresses that this is not a one off operation, and that any counterfeit ‘cabbies’ planning on operating this summer should think twice before getting behind the wheel. “We will continue to run police operations in the City of London to catch taxi touts using plain clothes officers. These resources will help us catch and prosecute those who attempt to pick up passengers without complying with the conditions of their licence,” he says.
So what’s the solution? As well as cracking down on bogus taxi drivers Aspinall also suggests that people “take a few minutes to plan how they will get home safe after a night out. Always use a cab or a pre booked private hire vehicle.”
Using quote compare websites, taking out taxi insurance can take just minutes. At the end of the day, taking the time to find an affordable taxi insurance policy could mean the difference between a successful summer of rides or a revoked license and cumbersome fine.