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100 arrests as police crack down on illegal cabs

From TfL / MPS

Illegal cab drivers caught red handed as Safer Transport Command officers continue to tackle touting in the capital.

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) Cab Enforcement Unit, part of the Transport for London (TfL) funded Safer Transport Command (STC), made more than 100 arrests as fresher’s weeks got underway across the capital a month ago.

As part of the Operation Safer Travel at Night (STaN), officers from the Cab Enforcement Unit, Safer Transport Teams and TfL, increased night-time patrols over three weekends. These took place between 23 September and 9 October to deter, detect and apprehend illegal cab drivers, also known as touts, and to help people get home safely. This operation coincided with the STaN marketing campaign, which aims to make people, in particular young women travelling at night, aware of the dangers of using unbooked minicabs picked up off the street.

Officers tackled touting involving both licensed and unlicensed drivers in student areas across London, successfully deterring and arresting illegal cab drivers, and acquiring valuable intelligence.

The operation covered every borough in the capital, as the Cab Enforcement and Safer Transport Teams engaged with thousands of Londoners, and in particular students. The officers provided safer travel information and encouraged them to book minicabs as well as reminding them that only black cabs can be stopped and picked up off the street without being booked.

To support the enforcement and in advance of the darker and colder nights ahead, the MPS and TfL have also put together a short YouTube video, providing safer travel information for Londoners. For tips on making sure your minicab is legal and keeping safe visit metpoliceservice.

Chief Superintendent Royle, Safer Transport Command, said: “Unbooked minicabs are uninsured for carrying passengers and not only do they undermine the legitimate cab trade but are a danger of the capital’s night life.”The Safer Transport Command regularly carries out major operations to tackle touting and this increased enforcement activity was to remind students, particularly those new to London, about the dangers of getting into unbooked minicabs.”The safety of the public is paramount and I would advise anyone not to get into any minicab that they have not booked and always book it through a licensed operator.”Steve Burton, TfL’s Director of Community Safety, Enforcement and Policing, said: “These operations are a priority for us and these arrests should serve as a clear reminder to touts that the Safer Transport Command is out there and will take action.”However as part of our efforts to crackdown on illegal cab activity we also need Londoners to stop taking unbooked minicabs and remember that only black cabs can be hailed in the street or picked up at a rank without booking.”

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