A taxi driver was captured on camera fleeing from a council officer who wanted to carry out a routine safety check on his vehicle in Arnold town centre.
Gedling Borough Council have now prosecuted the Nottingham City taxi driver who fled when approached by one of their licencing enforcement officers back in December 2021.
The vehicle was parked opposite the entrance to Asda on Front Street, Arnold, near to an area reserved for taxis to drop off and pick up passengers.
Private Hire Vehicles can only take bookings by prior appointment and cannot pick up fares who flag them down or approach them at the roadside. If a driver does carry out any of these actions, it is known as plying for hire and is a breach of licensing conditions and a criminal offence.
The licencing enforcement officer approached the vehicle to ask the driver what he was doing and to perform a safety check on it. The officer announced that they were going to perform a routine inspection on the vehicle, at which point the vehicle drove off, ignoring the officer’s request.
CCTV footage also showed the driver mounting the pavement to get around other vehicles after the offence.
Gedling Borough Council Officers used this footage to identify the driver and worked in partnership with Nottingham City Council’s Licencing Team to carry out an interview under caution, later taking legal action against the driver through the courts.
The driver was convicted of wilfully obstructing a Gedling Borough Council Licencing Enforcement Officer, fined £336, and ordered to pay a £34 victim surcharge as well as £720 in prosecution costs.
Councillor David Ellis, Portfolio Holder for Public Protection said: “We are committed to ensuring the safety of our residents and checks like these by our Licencing Officers help to protect the public from unsafe and illegal practices, such as drivers who are not properly licensed, insured, or who are operating outside of their licensed area.
“Not only that, but they also help ensure that our Gedling Borough licenced drivers, don’t lose trade to those trying to take advantage and operate outside of the rules.
He added: “We will continue to work in partnership with other licensing authorities to keep our borough safe, and this conviction sends a very clear message that these offences will not be tolerated.”