Manchester – Two illegal taxi drivers caught in Manchester have been ordered to pay a total of £2,551 and received a total of 12 penalty points.
In separate incidents, Manchester City Council officers routinely operating in the city centre spotted the drivers illegally trying to pick up passengers on the street.
Only a (black cab) Hackney Carriage licensed by Manchester City Council is both licensed and insured to do this within Manchester. Private hire drivers are only permitted to pick up passengers who have pre booked their journey through a licensed private hire operator. They are not allowed to pick up passengers who have not made such a booking and are not insured to undertake such journeys.
Abdi Rahman Sharif was fined £1,200 with £513 costs and a £60 victim of crime surcharge. Sharif was also given six penalty points after being found guilty of illegally plying for hire and driving without insurance.
On Sunday 1 February 2015, city council officers were routinely patrolling in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.
At around 1am the officers witnessed a man approach a Rossendale licensed Hackney Carriage, which was being driven by Sharif. After a brief conversation with the driver the man entered the taxi which then drove away before the officers could intervene.
The officers, suspecting the driver had been illegally plying for hire, recorded the vehicle’s registration and noted the vehicle had prominent markings for a Manchester private hire operator.
When they contacted the operator and found no record of the fare being pre-booked they invited Sharif in on two separate occasions for interview to explain his actions, which he didn’t attend.
Sharif, 38, of Upper Lloyd Street, Moss Side, failed to attend the Magistrates’ hearing on 26 August 2015 and the case was proven in his absence.
Bashar El Khalailah was fined £525 with £200 costs and a £53 victim of crime surcharge. He was also given six penalty points after being found guilty of illegally plying for hire and driving without insurance.
In October 2014 Khalailah, 30, of Birchfield Road, Longsight, summoned an off duty council licensing officer at Oxford Road Railway Station over to his private hire vehicle.
Khalailah confirmed to the officer he was not booked and agreed to take them to Wilmslow, but when the officer identified themselves and cautioned the driver, he drove away from the scene.
At the hearing on 27 August 2015 Khalailah was found guilty of the charges despite his solicitor entering a not guilty plea.
Cllr Nigel Murphy, Manchester City Council’s executive member for neighbourhoods, said: “We take the issue of public safety very seriously – your journey will not be insured if you flag down a passing private hire vehicle – only Manchester licensed hackney carriage drivers are allowed to pick passengers up from the side of the road within our city boundaries.
“This prosecution serves as a warning to rogue drivers that their actions will not be tolerated. Our officers will not hesitate to prosecute anyone caught breaking the rules.”