Two taxi drivers have been found to have illegally picked up fares, as part of a targeted enforcement operation in the city centre.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council trading standards officers and Staffordshire Police officers staged a night of joint enforcement activities on Monday. They targeted taxis between 11pm and 2am, during a busy student night.
In total 12 taxis were stopped by officers, with two private hire vehicles having picked up fares without a prior booking. Doing so is illegal as it not only contravenes the terms of the licence but also means that passengers are not insured.
Four undercover city council licensing and police officers carried out the inspections, alongside two uniformed police officers. A further three council officers are now carrying out follow-up enquiries.
Councillor Randy Conteh, cabinet member for housing, communities and safer city, said: “The enforcement activities were deliberately unannounced and designed to check that taxis are operating correctly.
“I’m pleased to say that the vast majority were, but the inspections are also to serve as a sharp reminder that operators must obey the terms of their licence.
“Licensing conditions are there to protect drivers and passengers, and should be adhered to. The drivers who illegally picked up passengers are now having the terms of their licences reviewed.”
Staffordshire Police’s Head of Licensing, Inspector Neil Sherratt, said: “The enforcement activities demonstrate the strong partnership work that takes place between agencies. We are committed to improving the safety of our communities, and in working with colleagues from the city council, we have been able to act swiftly to target drivers who have broken the terms of their licences and send a strong message that this will not be tolerated.”