The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) Cab Enforcement Unit, part of the Transport for London (TfL) funded Safer Transport Command (STC), made 14 arrests during a covert operation overnight on Thursday 15 July and Saturday 17 July 2010.
The Cab Enforcement Unit officers patrolled touting hotspots in central London locations such as the Haymarket and in Camden.
They dealt with illegal cab activity including touting involving both licensed and unlicensed drivers, illegal plying for hire, and illegal operators / clipboard operators. This is not only to ensure compliance with regulations but most importantly to enhance the safety of the travelling public.
Officers used specialist undercover tactics to catch touts red handed. The operation was not only successful in arresting illegal touts, but also acquired valuable intelligence.
Cab Enforcement operations are carried out on a regular basis in line with current intelligence on touting behaviour. More than a dozen operations have taken place in the last two months to tackle illegal cabs and touting across London. This is in addition to the undercover patrols that take place every virtually every night of the week.
They also cooperate with clubs and late night venues to crack down on the touts who operate in these areas, ensure licensed operators operating from venues are complying with regulations.
Since 2003 the Cab Enforcement Unit has made more than 6,000 arrests for touting and cab-related offences.
Chief Superintendent Royle, Safer Transport Command said:
“We are working together with our policing partners to keep London moving safely by driving down crime and the fear of crime even further.
“Illegal cabs and touting undermines the legitimate cab trade and puts the travelling public at risk.
“The Safer Transport Command is committed to tackling illegal cab activity and will continue to target offenders through our regular cab enforcement activities.
“The safety of the public is paramount and I would advise everyone not to get into any vehicle that they have not booked through a licensed operator.”
Steve Burton, Director of Community Safety Enforcement and Policing, said: “Touts pose a serious threat to those who use them and Londoners should remember that only black cabs can be stopped and picked up off the street without being booked. By booking your minicab you’ll ensure a record of your trip is kept and in the event of any problems the driver will be traced.
“These positive results show that we continue to clamp down on illegal cab drivers and touts should be reminded that the Safer Transport Command is out there and will use all the necessary tactics to catch them.”