A driver from Telford has been fined £1,000 and given eight points on his license after illegally plying for trade as a taxi.
Minhaj Jawad, of Leegomery, Telford was sentenced at Shrewsbury Magistrates Court, after he was caught in the early hours of August 24 illegally collecting members of the public on St Mary’s Street, Shrewsbury, who had not booked through a licensed operator, an activity known as plying for hire.
He was found guilty of plying for hire and consequently having invalid motor insurance for the journey undertaken.
Following the successful prosecution by Shropshire Council, Jawad was ordered by the Court to pay a total of £968.48 and has received eight penalty points on his driving license.
Karen Collier, Shropshire Council’s operations manager – health and community protection, said: “We welcome the decision of the Court in this case, and this demonstrates that Shropshire Council takes illegal private hire activities extremely seriously.
“Thanks to the work of our public protection officers, this offender has been successfully identified, investigated and now prosecuted. In addition, he will also face a review of his private hire driver’s license before a licensing panel. Our advice to the trade is clear: private hire vehicles are not permitted to ‘ply for hire’, and where we identify such cases we will investigate them fully. Not only is this activity illegal, it will invalidate a driver’s insurance, putting customers at risk.”
Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member responsible for public protection, said: “We will continue to crack down on unsafe taxi and private hire vehicles, and we encourage members of the public to report illegal activity to us.
“We can use this information to help determine our enforcement activities. Our public protection officers carry out vehicle and driver licensing checks across Shropshire to keep the public safe and stamp out illegal activity to ensure the safety of the public. They work closely with the police to carry out evening patrols, and will undertake ‘plying for hire’ operations using plain clothed officers.”
Source: Shropshire Star