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Disqualified driver sentence to four months for taxi touting

11/02/2011

A taxi tout has been jailed for four months and disqualified from driving for 12 months thanks to the Metropolitan Police Service Cab Enforcement Unit, part of the Transport for London (TfL) funded Safer Transport Command Unit (STC).

Abdul Hassan, of Heather Dale, Birmingham, was charged with touting for hire, driving with no insurance and driving whilst disqualified. He was sentenced to a total of 18 weeks imprisonment on Monday 17 January at Ealing Magistrates Court after pleading guilty.

Hassan, 30, was arrested in the early hours on Sunday 16 January after he approached a plain clothed police officer, who was carrying out a tout operation and asked if they wanted a cab, which is illegal.

Hasan was arrested on suspicion of touting for hire and taken into custody, where further checks revealed he was not licensed by TfL, which regulates London’s black cabs and licensed private hire vehicles, and he didn’t hold a driving licence, valid insurance and had already been disqualified from driving until September 2012. He was further arrested and charged on Sunday 16 January and appeared at Ealing Magistrates Court the following morning.

Chief Superintendent Joe Royle Safer Transport Command said: “Hassan not only undermined the legitimate cab trade, but put Londoners in danger by not having insurance and driving whilst disqualified. The joint STC/ TfL Cab Enforcement Unit is a dedicated unit that carries out anti-tout initiatives to tackle touts and improve the safety of passengers who use taxis and private hire vehicles.”Steve Burton, Director of Community Enforcement, Safety and Policing at TfL, said: “We are very happy with Mr. Hassan’s sentence and this case demonstrates the good work done by the Cab Enforcement Unit and TfL Enforcement Officers, who work together to reduce illegal touting in the capital.

“We urge anyone who thinks about picking up a minicab off street not to take the risk. Only black cabs can be stopped and picked up off the street and minicabs, even those licensed by TfL, must always be booked through a licensed minicab operator.”

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