As a result of a joint enforcement operation carried out by Milton Keynes Council’s Taxi Enforcement team and Thames Valley Police in December 2016, a private hire cab driver has been convicted at Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court of picking up passengers illegally, in a practice known as blagging.
Mahammed Bostan of Netherfield, Milton Keynes pleaded guilty to plying for hire and driving without valid motor insurance in December 2016. Last Friday he was fined £200 for plying for hire and £100 for having invalid motor insurance.
He was also given 6 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 Mr Bostan on a journey which had not been pre-booked from one location to another in Milton Keynes.
At the completion of this journey taxi enforcement officers from Milton Keynes Council and officers from Thames Valley Police were waiting.
Investigations by council officers showed that the vehicle had not actually been officially pre-booked for this journey.
The vehicle involved was displaying private hire door signs for operator Speedline and was licensed by South Northants 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) that have not been booked in advance.
Private Hire vehicle drivers are only allowed to pick up people who have pre-booked, unlike Hackney Carriages which are allowed to pick up fares on the street. In case of an accident, neither the driver nor the passenger would be covered by the vehicle’s insurance policy.
Councillor Catriona Morris, chair of the Regulatory Committee, said: “This case, plus the many other cases that Milton Keynes Council is currently prosecuting, 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.”