Taxi drivers who flout the law have been targeted by police in a crackdown on counterfeit cabs.
The force’s road policing unit worked with licensing officers from Dacorum Borough Council on an operation in Hemel Hempstead on Friday in an attempt to scout out those who do not comply with the law.
Checks were made on drivers of Hackney carriages and private hire vehicles at the town’s Civic Centre, for compliance with the law and the terms of their licences.
Their vehicles were checked for faults or defects with the help of Special Constables, while background checks on the drivers were also carried out.
A total 22 taxis were stopped on the night with seven verbal warnings given for a number of minor vehicle defects or not having the required documentation.
One driver had their taxi licence suspended because of damage to the body work of their vehicle.
PC Stuart Keene, who led the operation, said: “We stopped a good amount of taxis during this operation with only a very small number of minor problems being found on the vehicles checked. Overall the standard of the taxi vehicles was very high.
“The message is going out to taxi drivers across the county that they will be found out if they do not comply with the law and they may also be liable for a fine if their vehicle does not meet the required standards.”
Cllr Neil Harden, DBC’s Portfolio Holder for Residents and Regulatory Services, said: “The council is determined to ensure that our licensed taxis and private hire vehicles comply fully with the requirements of the law and of their licences, so as to deliver a safe transport service to the residents and businesses of Dacorum.
“Enforcement operations of this type, carried out in partnership with the police, help us to identify potential safety risks and deal with them.”
The scheme was part of county-wide Operation Vector, aiming to stamp out illegal taxis and maintain public confidence in the use of private hire cars.
For more details or to report any concerns about unsafe or illegal taxis or private hire vehicles in Dacorum, ask for Licensing on 01442 228000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org