Safer Travel at Night: Over 1,300 drivers arrested last year as part of crackdown on unbooked ‘minicabs’
* Latest weekend operation brings in 39 arrests
* Cab-related sexual offences fall by 20 per cent year on year
The Mayor of London’s war against unlicensed ‘minicabs’ has resulted in 1,300 arrests over the last twelve months in a crackdown on touting and other cab-related offences during 2010/11.
The latest figures show the success of the ongoing Safer Travel at Night (STaN) initiative, a partnership between the Mayor, Transport for London (TfL), Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and the City of London Police (CoLP), who are working together to make travelling in London safer at night.
STaN aims to reduce the number of cab-related sexual offences by raising awareness of the dangers of using unbooked ‘minicabs’, also known as touts and illegal cabs, and by using targeted police and enforcement activity to identify, disrupt and deter illegal cab activity.
Both the MPS Safer Transport Command, CoLP and TfL officers carry out regular enforcement activity across London including high-visibility patrols, stop/checks on vehicles, intelligence-led operations and engaging with the public.
During the latest three-night-operation, that took place last weekend in central London, the West End and parts of Camden, there were 39 people arrested for touting and other cab-related offences. Officers used undercover tactics and also conducted roadside vehicle and licence compliance checks on all ‘minicabs’ within the operation area.
Despite significant progress over recent years unbooked ‘minicabs’ remain a high priority for the Mayor, TfL and the police as they are a danger to the public, especially as they operate around the Capital’s night life. These ‘cabs’ are unregulated and uninsured to carry passengers and in some cases the drivers are linked to more serious crimes including rape and sexual assault, robbery and drugs. Last year saw the number of cab-related sexual offences fall by 20 per cent to 111 but there is more work to be done.
These ‘cabs’ also present a threat to licensed and law-abiding taxi and private hire drivers as they intercept customers and represent unfair – and unsustainable – competition.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “The people who live in and visit this great city need to know that it is safe to get around. It is in this context that we must confront the Russian roulette that is presented by illegal minicabs. Taxi touts are a menace to Londoners and tourists and the number of arrests made clearly vindicates our decision to double the size of TfL’s excellent cab enforcement team.”
Steve Burton, Director of Community Safety, Enforcement and Policing at TfL, said: “These results reflect the hard work by officers from both the Police and TfL to tackle touting, cab-related sexual offences and other illegal cab activity in the Capital. Although this welcome news, we are not complacent, and we will continue our efforts to further reduce these crime and ensure that the public can travel safely at night in the Capital.”
Chief Superintendent Joe Royle, Safer Transport Command, said: “These arrests show our commitment to ensuring Londoners travel safely at night. We will continue to carry out operations as part of our ongoing drive to tackle illegal cabs and taxi touts operating in the Capital.”
Notification of Awards under the Manganese Bronze Long-Term Incentive Plan 2011 17th May 2011 Manganese Bronze Holdings PLC announces the grant on 17 May 2011 of a conditional right (an ‘Award’) over 400,000 ordinary shares in the Company of 25p pence each (‘Shares’) to John Russell, Group Chief Executive, under the Company’s Long-Term Incentive Plan 2011 (the ‘LTIP’). Full details of the Award will be available in the Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 31 December 2011. Notes: The Award will ordinarily vest (and Shares released at such time) on the 1st of May 2016, but only to the extent that certain performance criteria based on the Company’s share price and total shareholder return performance are satisfied during the vesting period and ordinarily subject to continued employment. An additional vesting term for the Award to John Russell is that he must acquire Shares worth at least £25,000 by 31 May 2011 and total of at least 100,000 shares in the Company from his personal resources prior to 1 May 2014 and maintain such holding until the vesting of his Award; No consideration is payable on the grant of the Award; The Company has 30,469,927 Ordinary Shares of 25p each in issue; There are no shares held in treasury so the total voting rights in the Company is therefore 30,469,927; The Company now has a total of 400,000 awards outstanding under the LTIP, representing 1.31% of the issued Ordinary Share Capital; and The notification of this Award is intended to satisfy the Company’s obligations under the AIM rules. For further information, please contact: Manganese Bronze Holdings plc John Russell, Group Chief Executive 02476 572 108 Tony Pearman, Group Finance Director 02476 572 214 Financial Dynamics Nick Hasell / Sophie Moate 020 7269 7291
Consultation on exemptions to taxi and private hire vehicle age limits
* Consultation begins on Monday 23 May
* Decision on exemptions to age limits to be made later this year
Transport for London (TfL) is asking for the opinions of the taxi and private hire trade in a consultation on proposed exemptions to age limits which will be introduced for both taxis and private hire vehicles (PHVs) in 2012.
The consultation will begin on Monday 23 May 2011 and will run for eight weeks. Responses to the consultation will be considered by the Director of Taxi and Private Hire, and a decision will be taken on exemptions later this year.
John Mason, Director of Taxi and Private Hire said: “The Mayor is implementing a wide range of initiatives aimed at reducing emissions harmful to Londoners’ health. Transport for London has consulted closely with the taxi and private hire industry on elements of this affecting the black cab and private hire trade and we now welcome comments regarding the proposed exemptions to vehicle age limits.”
Road transport is responsible for around 80 per cent of airborne pollution (PM10) in central London where air quality is worst, with black cabs contributing 20 per cent of this.
Age limits for taxis and PHVs are being introduced from January 2012 as part of the Mayor’s air quality strategy. These plans include a range of measures to clean up transport including cars, buses, vans and lorries as well as taxis and PHV vehicles.
The age limits will be in force from 1 January 2012 for vehicles already licensed as Taxi and Private Hire in London, while minimum emission standards for newly licensed vehicles entering the taxi and PHV fleets will apply from 1 April 2012.
The LCDC are very happy to announce the departure of Mary Dowdye from her post at LT&PH.
Since becoming Chairman of the LCDC I can honestly say that every meeting I ever had in her company, I left thinking what job does she actually do?
I firmly believe that she never really understood or tried to learn about the licensed taxi trade, and as such, will not be any loss to the trade.
au revoir Mary