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Undercover sting reveals illegal touting problem in Nottingham city centre

An undercover sting by the Nottingham Post revealed the extent of illegal 'plying for hire' by Private Hire drivers in Nottingham city centre. In just one hour, 15 drivers were caught illegally touting for work. It is believed that around 200 drivers use a Whatsapp group to keep council workers and the police off their tails by constantly updating one another of any sightings. On Friday night, most of the 15 drivers caught in that single hour, had their licence issued in Gedling. Once a driver who is licensed outside the city centre drops off a fair he must then leave the city centre and not pick up another fare. Touting is a major issue in many cities across the UK and has become extremely hard to police. Richard Antcliff, chief for licensing at Nottingham City Council, says around 200 drivers are regularly breaking the law. Such offences can leave passengers uninsured if an accident was to occur while in a vehicle that illegally plys for hire. Mr Antcliff also said in the last two years, eight Private Hire drivers who illegally picked up passengers have committed serious offences including rape, sexual touching, conspiracy to supply class A and B drugs, grievous bodily harm and indecent exposure. Antcliff added: "It is unfair for legitimate drivers to have their work stolen under their noses by those who are illegally plying around the city. We are also concerned about public safety. If you are a single female, use a hackney carriage or pre-book a private hire" How serious is illegal plying for hire in your city, and what measures do you think should be taken to clamp down on such offences? 

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