Surely, Heads Must Roll As TfL Post Horrendously Bad Statistics For Touting And Illegal Plying For Hire.
It appears that in the face of a scathing GLA report, which labeled TfL as “woefully inadequate”, the spin doctors at Palestra and Windsor House have tried to give the false impression that they have in fact been proactive and highly successful.
First claim is that they have had an impact on unlicensed touts with 34 conviction in the past 12 months!
Taking into account there are 68 cab enforcement officers, plus (if Garrett Emmerson performance on London Live is to be believed) another 332 back up staff, we start to see the appalling incompetence and utter waste of enforcement budget over the last 12 months.
That’s 2 full time enforcement officers plus 10 back up staff for 1 conviction over 12 months!!!
In any other company, heads would roll.
But let’s not forget this is TfL. So, huge bonuses will be paid to directors and performance related pay bonuses to foot soldiers.
Steve Burton, Director of Enforcement and On Street Operations at TfL, said:
“These convictions are further proof that we take illegal touting and other illegal private hire activities extremely seriously. Thanks to the great work of our Compliance Officers and policing partners, these offenders have been successfully prosecuted and three have been disqualified from driving.”
Great work Steve???
Considering your compliance officers have no power and concentrate solely on badge and bill checks, you must have these touts quivering in their unlicensed uninsured cars.
Taxi Leaks has worked out, the present odds for anyone being convicted for touting, on a nightly basis is 210,000 to 1.
More lies from TfL
“TfL’s Enforcement and on-street Compliance Team carry out vehicle and driver licensing checks across London to keep the public safe and stamp out illegal activity. They work closely with the police, delivering over six hundred joint operations every year. They also carry out evening patrols in hotspot locations, plain clothes anti-touting operations and high visibility enforcement activities to detect and deter bogus cab drivers.”
This just isn’t the case!
They claim on average 11vehicle and driver check points operations weekly. Who is this carried out by, a special squad of officers wearing cloaks of invisibility?
Or is Steve merging Taxis with minicabs and including badge and bill checks in with the statistics to make the figures more palatable?
The report goes on to announce, over 700 arrests were made in 2013/14 for illegal touting for hire, but doesn’t give the number of convictions.
“TfL’s Taxi and Private Hire Compliance Officers work closely with TfL funded Cab Enforcement Officers in the MPS and City of London Police. They undertake joint operations on a regular basis informed by the latest intelligence on cab-related offending including cab-related sexual offences, touting and unlawful plying for hire.”
TfL have had absolutely no success dealing with the escalating problem of illegal plying for hire. Their normal MO is to move on rather than report. They have an incredibly atrocious record, one conviction for illegal plying for hire over the past 14 years. They only managed that because the driver held his hands up and pleaded guilty.
TfL cooperate with clubs door staff and clipboard johnnies, allowing touts who operate in the area to illegally ply for hire, forming illegal ranks outside exits and completely disregard the safety of the travelling public. We’ve seen horrendous scenes outside old Billingsgate market in Lower Thames Street, in the buildup to the Christmas party period.
TfL say they continue to push for stronger penalties for touting and for unlawful plying for hire offences including vehicle seizure and automatic driver licence disqualification, but they obviously aren’t pushing hard enough as TfL’s enforcement teams are the only licensing authority in the UK not to seize vehicles.
“TfL introduced a “one strike and you’re out” policy for any licensed minicab driver convicted of or cautioned for touting in August 2008 – they lose their PHV licence for one year. To date, more than 1,120 licensed drivers have had their PHB licences revoked.“
That’s a rate of just a little over 3 successful convictions for all types of PH contraventions a week.
And this takes 68 cab enforcement officers with back up from another 332 staff!
Who’s leading these teams, Stevie Wonder?
Source: Taken in part, from TfL website.