More Milton Keynes cab drivers fined for ‘blagging’

The scheme was introduced on Monday.
The scheme was introduced on Monday.

As a result of a joint enforcement operation carried out by Milton Keynes Council’s Taxi Enforcement team and Thames Valley Police in March 2017, three private hire cab drivers and one out of district hackney carriage driver were convicted at Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court last Friday (August 11) of picking up passengers illegally, in a practice known as blagging.

Akther Miah of Loriner Place, Downs Barn, Milton Keynes, attended court and pleaded guilty to plying for hire and driving without valid motor insurance. He was fined £60 for plying for hire and £60 for having invalid motor insurance. He was also given six DVLA penalty points and has to pay costs of £200, with a victim surcharge of £30.

Nafeez Rehman from Luton, pleaded guilty to plying for hire and driving without valid motor insurance. He was fined £160 for plying for hire and £160 for invalid insurance, and given six DVLA penalty points and has to pay costs of £200, with a victim surcharge of £30.

Samuel Agblemegah from Luton, was proven guilty in absence for offences committed. He was fined £220 for plying for hire, £200 for having invalid motor insurance, and £100 for failing to provide information. He was also given six DVLA penalty points and has to pay costs of £200, with a victim surcharge of £30.

Hackney carriage driver Balasingam Kuganeswaran from Southend-on-Sea, Essex pleaded guilty to plying for hire and driving without valid motor insurance. He was fined £180 for plying for hire and £180 for having invalid motor insurance. He was also given six DVLA penalty points and has to pay costs of £200, with a victim surcharge of £30.

The court heard how officers, acting as members of the public, engaged the drivers on journeys which had not been pre-booked from one location to another in Milton Keynes. At the completion of these journeys taxi enforcement officers from Milton Keynes Council and officers from Thames Valley Police were waiting.

Investigations by council officers showed that the vehicles had not actually been officially pre-booked for these journeys.

The vehicles involved were displaying door signs for Private Hire Operators Speedline and Skyline, and were licensed as private hire vehicles by South Northants Council (2) and Aylesbury Vale District Council (1), and as a hackney carriage by Rossendale Borough Council.

Milton Keynes Council and Thames Valley Police have on-going concerns over the public’s use of private hire vehicles (also known as minicabs) and out of district hackney carriages that have not been booked in advance.

When enforcing taxi legislation, the council’s main priority is the safety of the travelling public and other road users. Councillor Catriona Morris, chair of the Regulatory Committee, said:

“These cases will hopefully send a powerful message to the licensed trade and clearly show the consequences that await any licensed driver who fails to follow the law.


“We would urge members of the public not to get into private hire vehicles without a pre-arranged booking for their own safety.

“These operations by Milton Keynes Council and Thames Valley Police will continue and shall hopefully minimise, if not eliminate, those drivers carrying out illegal activities within Milton Keynes.”