Taxi driver caught illegally plying for hire in undercover operation

Taxi sign.
Taxi sign.

A taxi driver has been fined for illegally plying for hire in the first prosecution after the launch of an undercover operation stamping out dodgy taxis.

Said Shah, 49, of Alward Road, Aylesbury, is licensed only to pick up people in the Vale, but he accepted an unbooked fare when approached by police special constables posing as prospective customers in High Street, Tring, which is in Dacorum.

This rendered his insurance invalid for the journey.

After being prosecuted by Darocum Borough Council he pleaded guilty to one offence of unlawful plying for hire and one offence of having invalid insurance.

He was ordered to pay a total of £516 in court fines and costs, and given six penalty points on his driving licence.

Portfolio holder for residents and regulatory services at Dacorum Borough Council Neil Harden said: “This operation is part of our ongoing efforts to ensure that taxis operating within Dacorum Borough are properly licensed and insured.

“This is very much a matter of public safety. Members of the public are extremely vulnerable if they ‘flag down’ an unlicensed vehicle, or a private hire vehicle which can only accept pre-booked journeys.

“Dacorum Borough Council carries out regular operations to stamp out the practice of illegal plying for hire.

“We urge anyone taking a taxi within Dacorum to use one that is pre-booked or is a Hackney carriage licensed by Dacorum Borough Council. If you are at all unsure you should check the licence plate at the rear of the vehicle or ask to see the driver’s taxi licence.”