Private Hire Cab Driver Collared

A private hire cab driver who illegally picked up two undercover officers during a joint police and council operation has been ordered to pay more than £500 by a court.

Driver Jefferey Anthony Fleming of Ash Road, Litherland, was snared as part of Operation Inman, which detects private hire cars who pick up passengers without a prior booking.

By law, private hire vehicles must only carry passengers who have booked in advance.

Liverpool Magistrates Court heard that Fleming’s vehicle was parked up on William Brown Street, in October, 2016. He was approached by two men who asked him to take them to Bromborough.

Fleming, 55, was formerly licensed by Sefton Council, agreed and took the men to their destination.

The men were actually Police Special Constables.

The driver was charged with plying for hire and having invalid insurance for the journey.

Fleming failed to turn up for his first court appearance and was found guilty in his absence. He later contested this but again failed to attend the trial hearing.

He was fined £480, ordered to pay £150 costs and had six points added to his licence.

Councillor Christine Banks, Chair of the Licensing Committee, said: “The regulations around private hire vehicles exist for very good reason – the safety of the people of Liverpool.

“Unlike black cabs, they are not insured to pick people up in the street. Also, if you book in advance there is a record of the journey and the driver. Should anything happen we can use this to trace events. These rules are fully explained to drivers, so there can be no excuses for disregarding them.”

Cllr Banks added: “Our advice to people in Liverpool is, for safety’s sake always book your journey in advance.”