Undercover ‘sting’ sees crackdown on cabbies

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Several city taxi drivers were caught driving illegally after a crackdown involving Milton Keynes Council and Thames Valley Police.

The operation, carried out over the weekend of October 5 and 6, saw 10 private hire vehicle drivers caught allegedly plying for hire in and around the city centre.

The drivers will now be dealt with according to their respective licensing authority policy, which could see them appear at Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court.

The operation was carried out as part of an ongoing campaign to promote safety, protect the public and educate private hire and taxi drivers, said a spokesman for Milton Keynes Council.

The council and Thames Valley Police were growing more concerned over members of the public using private hire vehicles without booking before hand.

As private hire vehicles they are not allowed to pick up fares on the street and can only drive those who have pre-booked, unlike Hackney Carriage drivers.

This is because an accident would see insurance claims nullified for drivers and passengers.

Karen Ford, head of the council’s regulatory unit, said: “The council promotes a fair trading environment so when a driver has not paid for a Hackney licence, but still picks up fares straight off the street this is unfair to those Hackney Carriage and private hire drivers who are operating lawfully.

Police superintendent, Barry Halliday, said: “These types of joint robust operations are focused on keeping people safe, nothing more.”