Taxi driver fined for plying for trade
Archived press release
Date Published: 13/06/08
A taxi driver had to pay more than £400 after he picked up two council officers illegally.
Mohammed Khan, of Carlton Close, Aylesbury, agreed to take a fare from the enforcement officers even though his hackney carriage had not been pre-booked.
At Aylesbury Magistrates’ Court on 5 June, Mr Khan was found guilty of illegally plying for hire and was fined £200. He was also ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge fee and £200 costs.
The offence came to light during an undercover test purchasing exercise in Aylesbury town centre involving officers from the district council’s licensing team.
Two plain clothed officers approached Mr Khan’s red-plated vehicle in Kingsbury at 8.20pm on 30 November 2007 and he agreed to take them to Watermead.
Under licensing regulations, only white-plated hackney carriages can be hailed in the streets within Aylesbury’s boundaries and sit on taxi ranks. Red-plated hackney carriages operate in rural areas and are only permitted to pick up passengers in Aylesbury if they have been pre-booked. If they are not pre-booked they are not insured to carry passengers.
Councillor Judy Brandis, Chairman of the AVDC Licensing Committee, said: “Aylesbury Vale District Council’s licensing and enforcement teams have an important role to play in ensuring both hackney carriage and private hire drivers are operating in a bona fida way to ensure the public are protected. The teams regularly carry out inspections to ensure drivers are meeting legislation requirements and to stamp out bogus drivers.
“The fare taken for the illegal journey was only £4 but now the fines plus costs to that individual amount to over £400, so it is an expensive mistake that hopefully others will learn from. We will continue to crack down on any drivers who flout the law.”
For more information on hackney carriage and private hire licenses, visit the council’s website at www.aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk/business or call 01296 585083.