Cabbie crackdown

25 February 2011, 16:32 | Updated: 8 March 2011, 10:10

Police and council enforcers recently caught five cab drivers allegedly acting illegally in an undercover ‘sting’ operation.

The drivers were caught allegedly unlawfully plying for hire in and around the city centre, and in Stony Stratford, last weekend (Feb 19/20)

As Private Hire vehicle drivers they are only allowed to pick up people who have pre-booked fares. They are not allowed to pick up fares on the street.

In case of an accident neither the driver nor the passenger would be covered by insurance.

The operation was a joint one involving Milton Keynes Council and South Northamptonshire enforcement along with Thames Valley Police officers, as part of an ongoing campaign to promoting safety, protecting the public and educating Private Hire/ Taxi drivers.

A taxi licensing enforcement spokesman said:  “There are growing concerns over the public’s use of private hire (minicabs),that have not been ‘booked’. As well as being illegal they need to know that they put themselves at risk.

“It is also unfair to those Hackney Carriage/Private Hire drivers who are operating lawfully. Quite justifiably, on the occasions when they witness such actions, this creates friction within the trade.”

The council taxi licensing department will be distributing posters around Milton Keynes at retail outlets to help people to understand the differences between ‘Hackney’ and ‘Private Hire’ cabs and what action they need to take to cover themselves.

It is expected that the five drivers will appear in court in due course.