A multi-agency operation in Kingston, involving Transport for London’s (TfL’s) Taxi and Private Hire (T&PH) Compliance Team, on Friday 11 June, targeted illegal private hire activity and unsafe private hire vehicles.
Officials from TfL, the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) Cab Enforcement Unit, Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA), the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and the local authority enforcement teams worked together in a multi-agency enforcement operation. In total 39 TfL licensed private hire vehicles were given immediate stop notices and one unlicensed driver was identified. VOSA issued PG9 certificates to 10 private hire vehicles, resulting in the vehicles being unusable.
TfL will be making several follow-up visits to Operators to check on concerns about driver documentation identified during the operation.
John Mason, TfL Director of London Taxi and Private Hire said:
“We are often criticised for what cabbies see as a lack of enforcement of private hire vehicles and we are working hard to address these issue. We undertake similar types of exercises on a regular basis across London; the multi- agency approach in Kingston on Friday night demonstrates our commitment on cracking down on illegal activity by private hire drivers and unsafe vehicles. Our message is simple, whether you are a licensed private hire driver, operator or licensed taxi driver, act within the law at all times, and you have nothing to fear”.
- The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) Cab Enforcement Unit (CEU), part of the Transport for London (TfL) funded Safer Transport Command (STC), continues to carry out operations as part of their ongoing drive to tackle illegal cabs and touts operating in the Capital.
- Cab Enforcement operations are carried out on a regular basis in line with current intelligence on touting behaviour. They also cooperate with clubs to crack down on the touts who operate in the area and ensure compliance with regulations and importantly enhance the safety of the travelling public.
- During the operations roadside and compliance checks are made and in addition, officers carry out operations and conduct checks on all minicabs within the confines of the operation area.
- Since 2003 the Safer Transport Command Cab Enforcement Unit (CEU) has made more than 6,000 arrests for touting and cab-related offences.
- The number of dedicated cab enforcement police officers in the Capital has been doubled to 68. These officers work closely with other policing teams including Safer Transport Teams and local police to maximise enforcement activity across London.
- The ‘One Strike and You Are Out’ initiative means that from 1 August 2008, licensed drivers convicted of taxi touting lose their licence for a minimum of one year. Their fitness to hold a licence will be re-assessed by TfL’s Taxi and Private Hire (T&PH) Directorate if and when they reapply.
- The CEU made 1,449 arrests for touting (including licensed and unlicensed drivers) between 1 August 2008 and 31 May 2010.This has led to 435 Magistrates’ Court convictions involving licensed Private Hire Vehicle drivers to date which have been referred to T&PH for licence revocation. Furthermore 334 drivers have had their PHV driver’s licences revoked by the T&PH to date with the remaining still being processed.