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Private Hire Driver Prosecuted Published Date: 26/03/2023

Birmingham City Council Licensing Enforcement received a complaint about overcharging, alleging that the driver tried to charge £25 for a 4-mile journey.

The driver was a licensed private hire driver working from outside Birmingham Coach station. After speaking to the complainants, it was clear that the private hire driver was not pre-booked.

Shawn Woodcock, Birmingham City Council Operations Manager, Licensing Enforcement, explained:

"Whilst on the telephone to the coach station to see if they had any CCTV evidence of the incident, they reported that the same vehicle was actually picking up passengers at the time. (offence 2).

"We then contacted his former LA that licensed the driver, who informed us that he had been revoked and had not returned the plates for his vehicle.

"An exercise was carried out by the same LA who also saw him ply for hire from the same location and stopped him, with the police and spoke to his passengers (offence 3)."

The driver was subsequently interviewed and pleaded guilty at court in December to three plying for hire offences and a further three relating to no insurance, acting as private hire driver without a licence & displaying door signage and plates without being licensed so going equipped to commit a fraud (Fraud Act).

At an exceptional hardship hearing at Birmingham Magistrates Court, the driver was found not to suffer from exceptional hardship and was sentenced to a 12 month community order for 3 fraud offences, 60 hrs unpaid work.