Tackling taxi touting in London
Minicab drivers who illegally tout for hire should lose their private hire licences after three convictions for touting, according to our report. It says good work by the Cab Enforcement Unit has led to 3,800 arrests for touting and a 46 per cent reduction in cab-related sexual offences over the last five years. But it warns against complacency, revealing seven cab-related sexual offences are committed every month. Only black cabs are allowed to ply for hire on the streets, yet many Londoners are still unwittingly taking risks by catching rides with thousands of licensed and unlicensed touts driving around the capital.
The report calls for changes to the licensing system to ensure the Public Carriage Office has a record of where licensed drivers are working. It recommends resources are focussed on small operators who set up premises and obtain a licence, but then actively tout outside their office. The report says their premises should be closed down and licences revoked if they are found touting. Committee Members also called for an email address, phone number and text service to be set up so private hire and taxi drivers can report illegal activity quickly and easily.
The following letter was received in response to this report: