Two men who have pleaded guilty to taking trips as private hire drivers although they didn't have valid licences, have been successfully prosecuted at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court.
The court heard how one of the two men had been illegally operating as a private hire driver for up to four months this year.
The unnamed man has been disqualified for six months and fined £400. He was also ordered to pay costs of £100 to the council along with a victim surcharge of £30.
The other driver pleaded guilty to the charge of driving without a private hire driver’s licence and was handed a £500 fine with costs of £100 and victim surcharge of £50.
The prosecutions came during a council operation targeting illegal taxi and private hire drivers.
Investigations found that both men did not have a private hire driver licence, invalidating their insurance.
Julie Middlehurst, Regulatory Services Manager at Wigan Council, said: “Our licensing enforcement officers carry out regular and thorough checks throughout the year to ensure all hackney carriages, private hire vehicles, operators and drivers are properly licensed.
“Although the overwhelming majority of our licensed drivers, vehicles and operators provide an excellent service, we have to keep an eye out for the small minority who see themselves as above the law.
“As a council we have a duty to uphold public safety and make sure customers are properly protected. These latest prosecutions show that we will take action against people who act in breach of taxi and private hire licensing regulations."
The council confirmed that they will be stepping up their checks over the Christmas period, with a number of licensing enforcement officers taking to the streets.
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