Taxis - Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Enforcement
Licensing Enforcement Officers will report:
Private Hire Drivers who:-
- Illegally ply for hire;
(This will also invalidate your insurance)
- Stand, wait or pull onto Hackney Carriage ranks;
- Fail to wear their badge;
- Have their two-way radio loose in the foot-well of their vehicle;
- Drive without insurance.
Hackney Carriage Drivers who:-
- Drive their cabs with their meters unsealed;
- Drive without insurance;
- Allow their vehicles to be driven by unlicensed drivers.
Private Hire or Hackney Carriage Drivers who:-
- Obstruct authorised officers or police officers;
- Fail to comply with a request from such an officer;
- Use false addresses;
- Fail to report accidents to the licensing section;
- Fail to report their change of address, or the transfer of their plates.
These offences carry maximum fines of between £400 and £5000 and in some instances will also include a minimum of 6 - 8 points on your licence.
Those drivers continually caught breaking the law or behaving in an unacceptable way will be reported to the Licensing Sub Committee who may suspend or revoke the drivers licence.
The Licensing Enforcement team are like any other authorised enforcement agency and must comply with all rules of evidence and home office guidelines to ensure consistency and fairness. In any case presented before a magistrate or crown court the prosecution must prove beyond all reasonable doubt that the offence charged was committed by the defendant. This means that in all cases the Council's officers must ensure that they have followed up all reasonable lines of enquiry and that the matter has been processed efficiently and within strict guidelines and time limits.
Legislation which guides officers in their activities includes:-
- The Police and Criminal Evidence Act
- Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act
- The Human Rights Act
- Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act
- Town Police Clauses Act
- Regulatory Investigations Procedures Act
In order to ensure a reasonable chance of success the legislation must be used and adhered to.
You can view our performance and a summary of our service standards including the current Licensing Service Plan by visiting our Service Plan and Service Standards page.
We have been increasing our overt "yellow coating" operations in the City Centre, in particular Broad Street to stamp out illegal activity by licensed vehicles. In recent years we have been asked to reduce this particular activity and concentrate on catching those vehicles plying for hire rather than conducting overt operations and stop checks. As a result we have continued to conduct plying for hire activities and have caught 'out and out pirates' and those who appear to regularly carry out this activity. Despite the number of exercises we conduct and the associated publicity generated it is very disappointing that we continue to catch licensed private hire vehicles plying for hire in the city.
We undertake a number of other enforcement activities which include:-
- Carrying out covert operations in order to catch those involved in pirating. [Remember you will not see us at this time, you will not know where we are or who we are until the end of the journey. We don't broadcast we are out when we are catching vehicles pirating].
- Educating the public via leaflets, bus advertisements and local radio announcements.
- Utilising the Media to warn the public and advise them of the law.
- Education campaigns at pubs and clubs regarding the Law.
- Targeting Universities and colleges to get our message across.
- Utilising other enforcement agencies such as parking attendants and traffic wardens.
- Undertaking talks and presentations to institutions and groups.
- Continued liaison with trade representatives to ensure that the best intelligence is obtained.
The television and radio footage below highlights some of the work of our Licensing Enforcement Team regulating the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire trade in relation to illegally plying for hire and random stop checks that monitor compliance with their conditions of licence, such as safety standards.