Updated: Nov 24, 2019
A whopping EIGHT private hire drivers were caught and now face prosecution for plying for hire after one mammoth night of enforcement in Birmingham.
The operation last night oversaw a total of 53 vehicles checked. Glasgow City Council joined the operation to learn more about how the police catch and prosecute illegal drivers plying for hire in the Midlands.
A number of departments from the West Midlands Police force took part in the operation including its Traffic, Dogs and Specials teams. Birmingham City Council and DVLA enforcement officers were also present on the night.
The private hire vehicles caught displayed licences from several authorities including at least THREE from the controversial Wolverhampton City Council (WC) licensing authority.
This summer a Wolverhampton councillor defended the decision to grant more than 11,000 private hire licences last year, despite the fact that only 852 of those issued were to drivers operating in its licensing area.
WCC has come under fire for the ease of obtaining a private hire licence from them, with one of the issues being the price.
The cost of obtaining a licence is £284 compared to £460 in Stockton, £470 in Cleveland and Redcar, and £474 in Middlesborough respectively.
At least two of the vehicles caught for plying were displaying Uber signage, both of which were licensed to Wolverhampton.
The operation gave an insight into how successful enforcement is conducted in bigger cities.
The West Midlands Police Private Hire and Taxi Enforcement (WMPPHT) Officer gave commentary on the operation throughout the night on social media with "Don’t ply for hire” and “Get caught go to court” the reoccurring key messages to drivers.
The WMPPHT Officer said via social media: “53 vehicles checked tonight and 8 illegal plyers caught now facing prosecution. My thanks to @BCCLicensing @WMPDogs @Trafficwmp @GlasgowCC @SpecialsWMP @DVSAEnforcement and of course, the hard working SPT!”
All image credit: @Bhamtaxicop (Twitter)