Operation to tackle illegal taxi operators sees vehicle seized
A joint operation aimed at tackling issues with illegal taxi operators in and around the Bargoed area has led to the seizure of one vehicle and ongoing investigations into a number of others.
CCTV footage and intelligence received over recent months indicated that a number of vehicles appeared to be operating illegally as taxis in the Bargoed area, so on Friday 26th February into the early hours of Saturday 27th February Trading Standards and Police officers worked together, targeting any vehicles suspected as acting illegally as taxi drivers.
As a result, one vehicle was seized by police for having no insurance or road tax, and investigations are ongoing to determine whether the vehicle was also acting as an unlicensed taxi. Had this vehicle been involved in an accident, the passengers would not have been protected under any insurance policy.
In addition to the seized vehicle, officers were also able to identify several other vehicles that appeared to be operating as illegal taxis, and investigations into these are also ongoing.
Cllr Nigel George, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Public Protection said, “Operating as an illegal taxi is a serious offence, and is one that potentially could put members of the public in very real danger. Legitimate taxis undergo stringent safety checks and licensed drivers are also subject to numerous checks to ensure they are fit and proper persons to carry passengers. I would urge members of the public to only use fully licensed taxis – and if in any doubt about the legitimacy of taxi operators, to report this to our team of officers”.
Caerphilly Night Time Economy Officer, PC Adam Lang explains: “The planning and preparation for this operation was extensive. We have previously visited motorists suspected of driving taxis illegally with Trading Standards Officers to warn them of the illegal nature of what they are doing. The message clearly didn’t get through as our enquiries show numerous vehicles are acting in this manner across the borough.
“I hope these operations will now deter others from doing this in the future. The offender will now have to pay a minimum of £170 to return their seized vehicle as well as face court action where further penalties may be issued.
“I’d like to remind members of the public using illegal taxis to take a moment to consider what they are doing. The taxi trade go through rigorous checks, their vehicle also has to pass additional tests to a standard MOT before they are road legal. I understand that when people have had a good night and are under the influence of alcohol they maybe more likely to take the risk but please don’t – the consequences could be devastating.”
To report an issue with illegal taxis in Caerphilly county borough, please contact the council’s Trading Standards team on 01495 235 291 or visit www.caerphilly.gov.uk/tradingstandards
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