Dacorum Borough Council has successfully prosecuted a London private hire driver for unlawfully picking up a fare without a valid booking, following an enforcement operation in Hemel Hempstead.
Haider Ali, who lives in Luton and was driving for Uber at the time of the offence, agreed to carry plain-clothed police cadets for a cash fare during a joint enforcement operation between Hertfordshire Constabulary and Dacorum Borough Council in March 2017. His licence, issued by Transport for London, only permitted him to pick up passengers who had pre-booked their journey with a licensed operator based in London, such as Uber.
Mr Ali was convicted at St Albans Magistrates Court on 23 February 2018 for unlawfully plying for hire and for driving without valid insurance. He received six penalty points on his DVLA driving licence, and was ordered to pay costs and charges of £1150.
Councillor Janice Marshall, Portfolio holder for Environmental, Sustainability and Regulatory Services, said: “We strongly encourage anyone who travels in a taxi in Dacorum to ensure that the vehicle and driver are acting lawfully, and to report any concerns to us so that we can investigate. Private hire vehicles must be pre-booked through a licensed operator – the drivers are not permitted to negotiate nor accept bookings themselves.
"Getting in to a private hire vehicle without a valid booking will invalidate the insurance policy for that vehicle, and may leave passengers without legal protection if the vehicle is involved in an accident. Dacorum Borough Council will continue to carry out enforcement operations to detect taxis which are illegally operating within our area, and will take robust action against those who flout the licensing laws and potentially put the public at risk. We are grateful for the continuing co-operation of Hertfordshire Constabulary in carrying out these operations."
Further details about taxis in Dacorum, including a form to report any complaints or concerns, can be found on Dacorum Borough Council's website.