Liverpool cabbies have praised the work of the city council after an undercover sting at Anfield brought another rip-off driver to justice.
The Liverpool Echo reports that Orlin Angelov Madzharov, 43, was ordered to pay £480 in fines after he was caught trying to fleece football fans for £20 for a trip from Anfield to Liverpool Lime Street in January.
The taxi driver was the latest to be caught out by undercover council officers posing as football fans in operations that have been praised by a number of black cab drivers in the city.
But a large number of football fans have got in touch with the Echo with their own experiences and said the operations must continue.
One of these was South African Liverpool fan Evan Lyon who came to Liverpool to see a match. He said: “I paid £25 from Anfield to the Waterfront. I was in town from South Africa. Just thought that’s normal.”
Commenting on the Echo’s Facebook page, Robbie Shanahan recalled an experience following the Reds match with Brighton as a driver tried to over-charge some away fans.
He said: “Walking back to car after the Brighton match I overhead two Brighton fans arguing with black cab without his light on who was trying to charge £40 for a £9 journey! It’s embarrassing to our city.”
There seems to be a thought that it is often away fans or foreign Liverpool fans who can be targets as they are less aware of how much a fare should be.
Nikki Fenno on Facebook said: “A black cab driver tried to have my dad off cos he’s got a Belfast accent... not realising my dad had lived here for 25 years already and so he was caught out.”
It is clear that it is a small minority of cabbies who are attempting these scams - and a number of honest drivers have welcomed the crackdown and punishments handed out.
Allan Roberts said: “As a black cab driver myself, I welcome this crackdown, we need more enforcement from the hackney officers, these rip-off rats are giving us honest cabbies a bad image.”
On Twitter, the Taxi Alliance Liverpool group was equally pleased, stating: “Finally someone has decided to do something in an effort to clean the trade up.”
One cab driver who has been working with the Echo to expose the Anfield scams and has always remained anonymous, added: “I am over the moon that they are doing this and that it is being publicised be-cause these drivers are killing us.
“I am a member of Unite and the union is fully on board.” But he said the punishments should be harsher and suggested drivers caught out once should lose their licence. He said: “I provide a service, if I abuse that position you should take it off me.”
Mmmm… Total agreement with all the comments set out in this article, especially from the last driver who suggests harsher fines and licence revocation. Anything less is not a deterrent. – Ed.
A petition calling for Erewash cabbies to be allowed to have fully-tinted windows in their taxis has been rejected over fears that vehicles could be used to enable the abuse of vulnerable children and adults.