Council takes action

Against Private Hire Driver

Page last updated at 06 July 2016 at 08:15

Eastleigh Borough Council has successfully prosecuted a private hire driver for picking up a passenger who had not pre-booked their journey through a private hire operator.

Jamshid Yossofi of Southampton pleaded guilty at Southampton Magistrates Court on 1 July for ‘plying for hire without a valid Hackney carriage licence’ contrary to section 45 of the Town Police Clauses Act 1847.

Mr Yossofi is licensed with Eastleigh Borough as a private hire driver. He pleaded guilty to the offence and the Court fined him £150. He also had to pay a £20 victim surcharge and £90 contribution towards the Council’s costs in bringing the prosecution, costing him £260 in total.

The Court heard that on 30 September 2015 Mr Yossofi, whilst licensed as a private hire driver with Eastleigh Borough Council, picked up a member of the public from Eastleigh railway taxi rank as if he were a hackney carriage driver. A private hire driver must receive his bookings directly from a licensed private hire operator and not directly from the customer. The passenger made a complaint to the private hire operator as the driver had asked for money up front. The operator then reported the incident to the Borough Council’s Licensing Section who carried out an investigation.

The Council’s Prosecutor, Kieran Laven commented: “Mr Yossofi accepted before the court that what he did was wrong. The sentence serves as a good deterrent to other private hire drivers who might be tempted to take a job they aren’t entitled to.”

Eastleigh’s Cabinet Member for Transport, David Airey, added: “Members of the public may not realise that private hire drivers must have a booking before they collect a passenger. Only a hackney carriage may park at a taxi rank looking for trade, or be hailed from the side of the road.” He added, “The Council takes this issue very seriously and is committed to protecting both the safety of the public and the Council’s licensed hackney carriage trade.”