TfL London Taxi and Private Hire has demonstrated its commitment to take the strongest possible action against touts by successfully defending two legal challenges against its decision to revoke private hire licences.
His Honour Judge Hone rejected the appeals from the two private hire drivers at the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey) on 16 July 2010.
The two private hire drivers had initially appealed TfL’s decision to revoke their licences for touting at Magistrates’ Courts and then launched a secondary appeal at Crown Court level.
TfL took the decision to revoke the private hire driver’s licences following their conviction for touting offences in 2009, following an investigation by the Metropolitan Police Cab Enforcement Unit in the Safer Transport Command funded by TfL.
Director of London Taxi and Private Hire, John Mason said: “I am delighted that the Crown Court judge agreed that our actions were justified. It sends a very clear message to licensed drivers who think they can go out on the streets of London and illegally tout. Working with the Police we will catch you, you will get prosecuted and we will take away your licence. We will also robustly defend any legal challenges as demonstrated by these cases.”
The courts have upheld TfL’s decision to revoke Private Hire licences in 90 per cent of appeals before Magistrates’ Courts and in 75 per cent of appeals before Crown Courts.
The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) Cab Enforcement Unit (CEU), part of the Transport for London (TfL) funded Safer Transport Command (STC), continues to carry out operations as part of their ongoing drive to tackle illegal cabs and touts operating in the Capital.
Cab Enforcement operations are carried out on a regular basis in line with current intelligence on touting behaviour. They also cooperate with clubs to crack down on the touts who operate in the area and ensure compliance with regulations and importantly enhance the safety of the travelling public.
During the operations roadside and compliance checks are made and in addition, officers carry out operations and conduct checks on all minicabs within the confines of the operation area.
The ‘One Strike and You Are Out’ initiative means that since 1 August 2008, licensed drivers convicted or cautioned of taxi touting lose their licence for a minimum of one year. Their fitness to hold a licence will be re-assessed by TfL’s Taxi and Private Hire (T&PH) Directorate if and when they reapply.
Since 2003 CEU has made more than 6,000 arrests for touting and cab-related offences and doubled the number of dedicated cab enforcement officers in the Capital to 68