The Licence Holder and his friend were in attendance.
PC Quinton was also in attendance for this item.
The Neighbourhood Enforcement Officer outlined the background to the case as follows:
· The Committee was asked to consider if a Private Hire Driver was a fit and proper person following PC Quinton’s report on the Licence Holder plying for hire;
· The License Holder had been licensed since 2006;
· PC Quinton had reported that:
o the Licence Holder was seen talking to a woman while in stationary traffic outside the Stag and Hounds Public House;
o he had witnessed the woman get into his vehicle;
o he followed the vehicle and questioned the driver and passenger;
o the passenger had confirmed that she had not booked the taxi; she had approached it when it was stuck in traffic and the driver had agreed to take her to St Andrews Park for £10;
o the driver had said that he had taken the passenger as she was in the middle of the road and it was his intention to take her to AA Taxis where she could organise a taxi home;
o PC Quinton questioned the accuracy of the drivers account.
· The Licence Holder had previous history of plying for hire in 2012 where he was fined at Magistrate’s Court;
· He had also attended the PSP Committee in 2012 where he had received a 2 month suspension.
PC Quinton confirmed that he did have evidence from the body camera and that although he didn’t think the incident was sufficient to consider a prosecution, he did want to bring it to the Committee for consideration.
The Committee watched the first part of the body camera evidence, but due to technical difficulties were unable to watch the whole of the film.
The Licence Holder made the following points in support of his application:
· He had been a Private Hire Driver since 2006;
· He had a wife and 4 children who were dependent on him;
· He was a responsible member of the community and had held the post of Vice-President of the Bangladesh Association;
· He accepted that the passenger had flagged him down, but stated that she was aggressive and he was concerned that she may damage his car if he did not let her in;
· He had agreed to take her to the nearest taxi office where she could get a taxi home and it was not his intention to take her home;
· The passenger had a poor level of English and may have mistaken his intentions;
· He had not intended to pick her up and he had not taken any money;
· He had taken his badge off following a break and had forgotten to put it back on;
· He circulated two letters in support of his character.
In response to questioning, PC Quinton confirmed that the passenger was not aggressive and that although English was not her first language, she did seem to understand what was happening.
At this point in the meeting, the Licence Holder, his friend, PC Quinton and the Neighbourhood Enforcement Officer withdrew while the Committee considered the application and subsequently returned to hear the decision.
RESOLVED - that, in accordance with the Section 61 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, the Private Hire Driver Licence be suspended for 6 months for the following reasons:
1. The Committee believe that the Licence Holder was plying for hire;
2. The Licence Holder had failed to display his PHD Identification, which was in breach of the terms of his Licence.