On Friday 28 June 2019, Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) successfully prosecuted 3 drivers for illegally plying for hire (blagging) at Milton Keynes Magistrates Court.
The cases were brought before the court following an enforcement operation carried out by officers from Aylesbury Vale District Council in November 2018.
These drivers were operating private hire vehicles licensed by AVDC accepted journeys by council officers who were acting as members of the public. From one destination to another in Aylesbury that were not pre-booked via their operator. This in turn meant that it invalidated the insurance for the vehicle as the policy in place only covers the vehicle for journeys that were pre-booked.
Fayaz Ali Ghumro of Cambourne Avenue, Aylesbury attended Court and pleaded guilty to plying for hire and driving without motor insurance committed on 03 November 2018. He was fined £146 for plying for hire, £440 for no insurance, given 6 points on his DVLA licence and also has to pay £200 costs and a charge of £44.
Raja Sajid Kiani of Meadowcroft, Aylesbury attended Court and pleaded Guilty to plying for hire and driving without motor insurance committed on 03 November 2018. He was fined £140 for plying for hire, £420 for no insurance, given 6 points on his DVLA licence which resulted in the loss of his DVLA driving licence due to exceeding 12 points on his licence. He also has to pay £200 costs and a charge of £42
Amir Yasin of St Edmunds Close, Aylesbury failed to attend Court however had pleaded Guilty to plying for hire and driving without motor insurance committed on 03 November 2018. Mr Yasin is awaiting sentencing at a later date.
The Council will now consider action regarding their Private Hire / Hackney Carriage driver licences.
Councillor Susan Renshell, Chair of AVDC’s Licensing Committee, said: “Unlawfully plying for hire is a serious offence. Apart from taking legitimate work from licensed hackney carriages whose livelihood depends on picking up passengers, it impacts significantly on public safety. The effect of unlawfully plying for hire is that it invalidates the drivers’ insurance and may leave customers and third party drivers without financial redress in the event of an accident. These drivers must take responsibility for the safety of the passengers they carry in licensed vehicles.
“Licensed drivers are in a position of trust and the public expect that they have the appropriate licences in place with adequate insurance.
“We hope this will send a clear message to the licensed trade to show the consequences that await any licenced driver who fails to comply with the law. We urge members of the public to make sure that all journeys taken in a private hire vehicle are pre-booked via the operator to ensure their own safety.”
All Aylesbury licensed private hire vehicles are liveried with the wording ‘Be booked be insured.’
Aylesbury Vale District Council will continue these operations to ensure compliance with the law in a bid to eradicate illegal plying for hire in our district.