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Heathrow police officer convicted of assaulting suspected taxi tout

06/08/2014

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The court heard that PC Eliot, who was on routine patrol, stopped a vehicle within the grounds of Heathrow Airport on suspicion of taxi touting.   

Aug 05, 2014 17:23 By Alan Hayes

PC William Eliot, 45, a police officer with the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) based at Heathrow has been convicted of assault at Westminster Magistrates’ Court during an appearance on Monday, August 4.

He had previously been summonsed to appear following an investigation by the Directorate of Professional Standards.

The court heard that during the course of his shift on August 25, 2013, PC Eliot, who was on routine patrol, stopped a vehicle within the grounds of Heathrow Airport on suspicion of taxi touting.

During the vehicle stop PC Eliot grabbed the driver of the vehicle round the neck . PC Eliot alleged that the victim spat at him when he was questioning him about his vehicle.

The victim later made a complaint and the incident was also reported by a colleague. 
Following the stop, the vehicle was seized under lawful powers as it was not roadworthy. 
Following an investigation by the MPS Directorate of Professional Standards, PC Eliot was issued with a summons to appear before the court. 

Detective Chief Superintendent Alaric Bonthron, said: "The evidence put before the court included that of a colleague who reported the incident, this demonstrates that officers are prepared to report wrong doing. Now that the criminal proceedings are complete we will be able to proceed with the misconduct process."

He has been released on bail to appear on Monday, August 18 at Westminster Magistrates’ Court for sentencing.

TfL successfully prosecute three bogus minicab drivers

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5 August 2014 TfL Press release

Three more successful TfL prosecutions of bogus minicab drivers

Transport for London’s (TfL) Enforcement and on-street operations Compliance Team, alongside their policing partners, have successfully prosecuted three re-offending minicab touts in an ongoing commitment to crackdown on bogus and unsafe minicab drivers in London.

These latest prosecutions now bring TfL’s total to 25 successful convictions for illegal plying for hire and other related offences in the last 12 months, with many more cases currently awaiting court dates. The three convictions were for a number of offences including; touting, illegal plying for hire, driving without insurance and operating without a valid private hire driver licence.

Olaide Tijani, 50, from north west London, was sentenced at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 23 July. He was stopped during a routine check by City of London Police and TfL Compliance Officers on 14 December 2013. Mr Tijani had a passenger onboard when his details were checked by Officers and it showed that his private hire driver licence had been revoked in 2011 after a touting conviction.

He later pleaded guilty to all four offences of no private hire driver licence, no operator licence, no insurance and plying for hire. He was ordered to pay £410 in fines and court costs. His driving licence was endorsed with six penalty points for having no insurance and as a result, he was disqualified from driving for six months.

Tahir Zaheer Baig, 46, from east London, was sentenced at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 16 July. He was first seen on 26 October 2013 by TfL Compliance Officers in east London, touting for business but drove off before he could be questioned. TfL were in the process of addressing this first incident when he was stopped again on 9 November in South Woodford, and found to be working without a private hire vehicle operator’s licence. He was interviewed under caution and charged with breaching the Private Hire Vehicles Act. Mr Baig was later found guilty of touting, having no operator licence and plying for hire. He was ordered to pay £900 in fines and court costs and disqualified from driving for four months.

Rajalingham Paheerathan, 35, from Bromley, was sentenced at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 16 July. He was seen by TfL Compliance Officers on 24 October 2013 on Uxbridge High Road, having a conversation with a woman before letting her and a friend into his car. Officers approached the vehicle and established the journey was not pre-booked.

Mr Paheerathan was interviewed under caution and charged. He pleaded guilty to plying for hire and having no operator licence and was ordered to pay £370 in fines and court costs. He was also disqualified from driving for three months.

Steve Burton, Director of Enforcement and On Street Operations at TfL, said: "These convictions demonstrate that we take illegal touting and other illegal private hire activities extremely seriously. Thanks to the great work of our Compliance Officers and policing partners, these offenders have been successfully prosecuted.

“An unbooked minicab is just a stranger’s car and these three men posed a real threat to public safety. We will continue to crack down on bogus and unsafe minicabs and encourage people to report illegal activity to us as we do act on this intelligence. Always use a licensed taxi or pre-book a minicab through a licensed operator. Download our Cabwise app to get details of licensed operators.”

TfL’s Enforcement and on-street Compliance Team carry out vehicle and driver licensing checks across London to keep the public safe and stamp out illegal activity. They work closely with the police, delivering over six hundred joint operations every year. They also carry out evening patrols in hotspot locations, plain clothes anti-touting operations and high visibility enforcement activities to detect and deter bogus cab drivers.

For more information about the work being carried out to keep the transport network safe, please visit: http://tfl.gov.uk/corporate/safety-and-security/

To report touting and illegal cabs please visit: https://tfl.gov.uk/forms/12368.aspx

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