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Assets forfeited following Cabs Enforcement Unit operations

01/06/2011

TfL Media Brief.

A car and cash have been forfeited from two men following arrests made by the MPS Cab Enforcement Unit, part of the Transport for London (TfL) funded Safer Transport Comman (STC).                         

Both men were arrested by the officers, who were carrying out operations as part of their ongoing drive to tackle unbooked minicabs (also known as touts or illegal cabs) operating in the Capital.

On 3 October 2010 plain clothed police officers were carrying out roadside and compliance checks on minicabs in New Oxford Street, WC1, when they came across Mohammed Ahmed, aged 52, who was wearing an out of date London private hire vehicle licence/ badge. He was arrested and further checks revealed that he was uninsured and did not have a valid MOT certificate. He was charged and appeared at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court on 18 May and found guilty of being in possession of articles for use in fraud and being the holder of a suspended London PHV Licence. He pleaded guilty to using a vehicle without third party insurance and using a vehicle without MOT certificate. He was sentenced to 200 hours community service, disqualified from driving for 9 months and fined £100.

On 7 May 2011, plain clothed police officers were in Regent Street, W1, when they were approached by Nesrut Butt, 36, on foot, who asked them if they wanted a cab. He was arrested and when searched, officers found over £300 in sterling and 60 Euros, which they seized. He was charged with touting for hire and pleaded guilty at West London Magistrates Court on 18 May and fined £200.

In both cases the STC Payback Unit made successful applications to the Courts, under Section 143 Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000, requesting the forfeiture of Ahmed’s Vehicle and the cash seized from Butt. 

Safer Transport Command Chief Superintendent Sultan Taylor, said: “The professionalism of the Cabs Enforcement Unit identified these two suspects and brought about their arrests. With the assistance of the STC Payback Unit, these men have been deprived of their property used for, and as a result of their illegal activity.”Steve Burton, Director of Community Safety, Enforcement and Policing at Transport for London, said: “These cases highlight the success of the Safer Transport Command in targeting those who break the law by touting. The sentences handed down directly target the property used in or gained from illegal activity and sends out a strong message to anyone who touts in the Capital that we take this issue very seriously. Any minicab journey that isn’t booked through a licensed minicab operator is illegal and puts the travelling public at risk.”

Since 2003 the Cab Enforcement Unit has made more than 7,000 arrests for touting and cab-related offences.

Cab Enforcement operations are carried out on a regular basis in line with current intelligence on touting behaviour. They also cooperate with clubs to crackdown on the touts who operate in the area and ensure compliance with regulations and importantly enhance the safety of the travelling public;

The STAN partnership between TfL, the MPS and the CoLP was launched in 2002/3. The campaign aims to make people travelling at night aware of the dangers of picking up unbooked minicabs off the street, as well as informing them of the best ways to get home safely.

The MPS Safer Transport Command fights crime on buses, tackles illegal cabs; and assists with the control of traffic congestion. There are now around 2,000 uniformed officers, which are funded by TfL.

The Mayor has taken a tough line on touting and  illegal cabs and any TfL licensed private hire driver convicted of touting will now lose their private hire driver’s licence for a minimum of one year.

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