A private hire driver has been successfully prosecuted after being caught illegally picking up passengers - plying for hire (known as ‘blagging’) - and driving without his vehicle licence plate on display in Milton Keynes.
MK Magistrates heard the case last Wednesday, which followed a joint enforcement operation carried out by Milton Keynes and South Northamptonshire Councils in September 2017.
Muhammad Tahir Mahboob of Twinflower, Walnut Tree did not attend court and was convicted in absence of plying for hire, driving without valid motor insurance, and failing to display his vehicle’s licence plate in September 2017.
He was fined £45 for plying for hire, £259 for invalid motor insurance, £57 for no displayed licence plate, given 8 points on his DVLA licence, and also has to pay costs of £1,051 with a victim surcharge of £30.
At the time of the offences his vehicle was operated by Speedline. Mr Mahboob is also currently licensed by South Northants Council and they will take appropriate action concerning his Private Hire/Hackney Carriage driver licence.
The court heard that on September 17 2017 Taxi Licensing Officers from Milton Keynes and South Northants Councils, acting as members of the public, engaged Mr Mahboob’s private hire vehicle on a journey, which had not been pre-booked, from one location to another in Milton Keynes.
Further investigation showed that Mr Mahboob’s vehicle was not insured for this journey and did not have a correctly displayed licence plate.
Councillor Catriona Morris, Chair of the MKC’s Taxi Licensing Committee, said: “The offences of illegally plying for hire and no insurance are serious and put passenger safety at risk if an accident occurs. Also a driver must ensure that their vehicle licence plate is clearly on display so the public can be satisfied that the vehicle has met the requirements of the Local Authority.
“Our ongoing test purchase programme with South Northants Council targeting drivers who illegally ply for hire in Milton Keynes will therefore continue.”