Eight illegal taxi drivers have been reported for prosecution after a successful operation in Stone.
Local police officers from the Roads Policing Unit (RPU) teamed up with Stafford Borough Council, Newcastle-Under-Lyme Borough Council, Stoke-on-Trent City Council and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to target taxi drivers plying for hire illegally in the town.
Checks on a number of taxis included:
- Vehicles and drivers were insured
- Appropriate fares were being charged
- Drivers were not using their mobile phones on the road and
The drivers were observed through the night, and it resulted in in eight cabbies being reported for various motor offences. Four of those were prohibited from operating by the DVSA because of tyres, seatbelt and lighting issues - and would not be allowed back on the road until the defects are rectified.
Mark Winnington, Cabinet Member for Environment at Stafford Borough Council, said: “This is a good example of working with our partners to protect businesses and for the safety of residents.
“It is important that those who ply for trade in our borough have been properly licensed by Stafford Borough Council and undergone all the relevant checks to ensure passengers will be safe.”
PC Martin Randle, who took part in the operation, said: “Illegal taxis serve as a disruption to residents and businesses – especially in rural areas where there is a reduced public service in the evening and there are less transport options for vulnerable members of the community.
“We’ve worked closely with our partners to target those responsible and stop them from influencing the supply and demand of taxi hire within the region.
“Operations like this will be vital moving forward to stop those responsible and ensure the public have access to legal and fair taxi services in all areas of Staffordshire.”
Dave Collings, Head of Enforcement Delivery at DVSA, said: “We’re really pleased to be working in partnership with Staffordshire police helping to keep vehicles in the local community safe.
“Taxi drivers are entrusted by their fare paying passengers to provide safe and roadworthy vehicles to get them to their destination.
“In the future, we will plan other operations to target those who undermine road safety and help to protect fair competition within this industry.”
Press Release No 5988