Council launches crackdown on rogue cabbies

A West Midlands local authority has launched a crackdown on private hire drivers illegally plying for trade in its area.

The move comes after two private hire drivers from Telford were convicted of illegally picking up fares that had not been pre-booked.

Alhassan Awudu and Amjal Tanveer were both found guilty of ‘plying for hire’ by Telford magistrates.

Telford & Wrekin Licensing team and West Mercia Police caught the two drivers in operations in Newport and Wellington.

The drivers illegally took fares from two plain clothed officers who had not booked the journey through the operator.

Awudu, of Crescent Road, Hadley, admitted the charge, which related to his picking up a fare in Newport in November 2016. He was ordered to pay £455 and was given a 12-month conditional discharge.

Tanveer, also of Crescent Road, Hadley, was found guilty of the same offence in Wellington. He was ordered to pay a total of £1,634 in fines and costs. He was also convicted of having no insurance for which his driving licence was endorsed with eight penalty points.

Nicky Minshall, Telford & Wrekin Council’s Public Protection Service Delivery Manager, said: “We welcome the outcome of these cases. Telford & Wrekin Council takes these incidents very seriously.

“Our licensing team runs plying for hire operations throughout the year and investigate any driver found to be operating illegally.

“Not only is this activity illegal, it may invalidate a driver’s insurance – putting customers at serious risk. Any private hire driver found plying for hire will not only face the prospect of legal action in the courts but there is also a very realistic prospect of them losing their license.”

She said members of the public could identify private hire vehicles licensed by Telford & Wrekin Council as they now carried distinctive yellow signs on their doors.

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