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AIRPORT TOUTING: Uttlesford watch TfL in action ahead of Stansted Taxi and PHV enforcement crackdown

Updated: Jul 16, 2023

Uttlesford District Council (UDC) joined forces with Transport for London (TfL) and the Metropolitan Police to learn more about combating taxi touts operating at Stansted Airport.

A collaborative operation held at Heathrow Airport took place on 30 March, aiming to apprehend and deter individuals engaging in unlicensed taxi services. With the intention of implementing similar practices at Stansted Airport, UDC officers shadowed their counterparts and gained valuable insights into the process.

Five Licensing Officers actively participated in the operation. Following a detailed briefing on the plan of action and methods employed to identify suspected touts, the day's operation began at 9am. The operation proved to be highly productive, as the UDC officers gained a comprehensive understanding of the procedures involved.

Building on the success of their exposure to the Heathrow operation, UDC conducted its own independent operation in collaboration with the Stansted Airport Policing unit on the 6 April. While no formal actions were taken, the team successfully disrupted several touts, preventing them from carrying out unlicensed activities.

It is important to note that the majority of UDC's licensed vehicles cater to home-to-school contract work. However, with the upcoming summer holidays, the team is committed to allocating additional time for conducting a greater number of airport tout operations.

Jamie Livermore, Senior Licensing & Compliance Officer, stated in an enforcement update report: “On the 30 March, 5 Licensing Officers from Uttlesford District Council (UDC) attended a ‘taxi tout’ operation at Heathrow Airport in partnership with TfL and Met Police colleagues. The operation commenced at 9am and began with a briefing on the plan of action and how any suspected touts were identified and dealt with. The role of UDC Officers was on this occasion to shadow and gain an understanding of how such operations are conducted, with the intention of mirroring similar practice at Stansted Airport. Whilst a long day, it was productive and Officers gained the understanding that they were hoping for.

“This led to UDC’s own operation on the 6 April in which Licensing Officers worked in collaboration with the Stansted Airport Policing unit. Whilst there were was no action that resulted in any further formal action, the team were able to disrupt a number of touts from carrying out any unlicensed activity. The majority of UDC’s licensed vehicles carry out home to school contract work, but during the impending school summer holidays the team aim to dedicate time to carrying out an increased number of airport tout operations, the results of which will be shared in the next enforcement update report.”


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