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New online facility to report illegal taxi touting

19/08/2011

Illegal minicabs that tout for trade in London can now be reported on the Transport for London website. Anyone with access to the internet will be able to visit the Cab Enforcement web pages to report illegal activity or for updates on enforcement operation results.

All minicabs in the Capital must be licensed by TfL and must be booked in advance. Any minicab that isn’t booked by phone, email or in a licensed minicab office is illegal, unsafe, will not be insured, and in some cases the drivers are linked to more serious crimes including rape and sexual assault, robbery and drugs. Over seven thousand arrests have been made in the last eight years for touting and cab offences in London.

The new web pages are part of a wider initiative between TfL and its policing partners that aims to promote the safety of the travelling public, highlight the activity that has been undertaken to tackle touting and publicise the results. They are available to view at the following address: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/cabenforcement.

Enforcement results, including arrest figures and licence revocations, will be available to view both to show what is being done and to serve as a warning to drivers who operate illegally. In addition to the enforcement results page, taxi and private hire drivers can now inform TfL directly if they suspect a driver of touting through a new illegal activity reporting page. This will enable police and enforcement officers to target areas of concern and expand on the good work already undertaken in detecting and arresting touts.

Steve Burton, Director of Community Safety, Enforcement and Policing at TfL said:

“Unbooked minicabs can pose a serious risk to the travelling public across London, especially in busy town centres. They can be a cover for some of the most serious crimes in London including sexual violence against women and robbery. In addition, any minicab that has not been booked is unregulated and uninsured for the purposes of carrying passengers.

“This new website will allow the members of the public, as well as the taxi and private hire trade, to report illegal activity quickly and simply, helping TfL and our Safer Transport Command Unit to investigate and tackle touting more directly.”

Illegal ‘cabs’ also present a threat to licensed and law-abiding taxi and private hire drivers as they intercept potential customers and represent unfair – and unsustainable – competition. If a driver or private hire operator is found to be touting TfL will revoke their licences for a minimum period of 12 months.

Transport for London is also reminding minicab users of the following important safety tips:

§ Never approach a minicab on the street or accept a fare, they are acting illegally
§ Always book so there is a record of your journey
§ Only black cabs can pick passengers up on the street
§ When travelling by minicab always book it, when it is arrives check it’s for you and sit in the back
§ To get three local cab numbers text ‘CAB’ to 60835**
§ Visit http://www.tfl.gov.uk/cabwise for more information
** Users of 3 and overseas networks must enter different information. See tfl.gov.uk/cabwise for full details and charges.

ENDS

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