News release from 30/10/2020

Unlicensed taxi driver prosecuted

Unlicensed taxi driver prosecuted

A man who worked as a taxi driver, despite not having a licence or insurance, has been prosecuted in a case highlighting the enforcement options open to South Cambridgeshire District Council.

34-year-old Raminul Islam from Church Road, Manor Park, London admitted driving a private hire vehicle without holding the required licence and having invalid insurance. Private hire vehicles must be pre-booked with an operator, while a hackney carriage taxi can be flagged down in the street.

Mr Islam appeared before Cambridge Magistrates on Tuesday 20 October 2020 and initially denied the charges. However, after the Court outlined to him that his prospects of success were non-existent and advised him to seek legal advice, he pleaded guilty.

The offence came to light when the Council’s Licensing team was contacted by a private hire operator to tell them about a complaint about Mr Islam received from a customer in November 2019.

The Council then found that Mr Islam’s private hire driver licence was revoked in June 2019 after he received a Police caution for assaulting a cyclist.

Although he appealed the revocation to the Council’s Licensing Committee, which was refused, and he later discontinued a further appeal to the Magistrate’s Court, he continued to drive a private hire vehicle but didn’t notify his operator that he no longer had a licence to do so.

Islam was called to the Council’s offices in January this year for an interview under caution. Despite all of the evidence, and the fact that his badge and licence had already been seized, he claimed he was not aware that he could not continue to drive.

The court imposed a fine of £100, a victim surcharge of £32, and awarded costs to the Council of £200. In addition, his regular driving licence was endorsed with 6 penalty points.

South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Lead Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Licensing, Cllr Brian Milnes, said: “This case clearly demonstrates that we will not hesitate to act swiftly and robustly to deal with any taxi drivers who break the rules. It was very clear for a long time that, in this case, the person driving should not have been doing so. Having a taxi driver’s licence is a privilege and residents quite rightly expect that those granted them uphold the highest standards. Passengers must be assured that whoever is driving them is a fit and proper person to do so. Taxis perform a vital public transport role in rural districts like South Cambridgeshire and the vast majority of drivers and operators play by the rules to perform this service.”

For those considering becoming either a licensed Private Hire or Hackney Carriage driver so that they can work legally, detailed guidance can be found on our dedicated pages