FOI request detail

Online Abuse from Taxis/PHV Drivers

Request ID: FOI-0044-2122
Date published: 04 May 2021

You asked

TfL - Can I please make an FOI request? How many complaints over the past 60 months has TfL received regarding online abuse/unacceptable behaviour from TfL licensed taxi and private hire drivers, and how many warning letters to taxi and private hire drivers have TfL issued about the online conduct of TfL licensees for the same period of time?

We answered

Our Ref: FOI-0044-2021 Thank you for your request received on 6 April 2021 asking for information about complaints made regarding online abuse/unacceptable behaviour from TfL licensed taxi and private hire drivers (PHV). Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act and our information access policy. I can confirm we hold some of the information you require. Unfortunately, to provide the information you have requested would exceed the ‘appropriate limit’ of £450 set by the Freedom of Information (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004. Under section 12 of the FOI Act, we are not obliged to comply with a request if we estimate that the cost of determining whether we hold the information, locating and retrieving it and extracting it from other information would exceed the appropriate limit. This is calculated at £25 per hour for every hour spent on the activities described. We have estimated that it would cost in excess of £450 to provide a response to your current request. This is because it is estimated that it would take over 18 working hours to retrieve and compile the information you have requested. With regard to the first part of your request, our Customer Service team moved to a new reporting tool in June 2017 so would only hold information from this date onwards. We are not able to filter on whether the complaints are about online abuse/unacceptable behaviour from TfL licensed taxi and private hire drivers. We have received 16,147 complaints regarding taxi and PHVs in the period we hold information for. Of these, 673 contacts came via social media. Any complaints regarding online abuse/unacceptable behaviour would possibly be captured here, however we would have to review each contact to identify any that were captured by your request. This would not include any complaints that had been made through other channels such as email, post, or via our website as these would be part of the larger circa 16,000 complaints. The second part of your request asked how many warning letters were sent to licenced taxi and PHV drivers about online conduct. It is not possible to run a report to easily identified the number of letter issued. Warning letters are not categorised in this way so we would have to review every such letter sent in the past five years. We would need to ensure that any report covers all drivers that are currently licensed, any that have expired, or any that have been revoked/suspended in the requested period. To help bring the cost of responding to your request within the £450 limit, you may wish to consider narrowing its scope so that we can more easily locate, retrieve and extract the information you are seeking. For example, by asking the information for a shorter time period. However, please be aware that any such reduction in timeframe would have to be significant as it is likely that we would still have to review all contacts and/or letters issued in the revised period in order to ensure we had captured any relevant information. If you want to refine your request or make a Freedom of Information Act request in future, please bear in mind that the Freedom of Information Act allows you to request recorded information held by us. You should identify the information that you want as clearly and concisely as you can, specifying the types of document that you are looking for. Although your request can take the form of a question, rather than a request for specific documents, we do not have to answer your question if it would require the creation of new information or the provision of a judgement, explanation, advice or opinion that was not already recorded at the time of your request. Please note that we will not be taking further action until we receive your revised request. In the meantime, if you have any queries or would like to discuss your request, please do not hesitate to contact me. If you are considering submitting a further FOI request please think carefully about whether the request is essential at this current time, as answering FOI requests will require the use of limited resources and the attention of staff who could be supporting other essential activity. Where requests are made, please note that our response time may be impacted by the current situation. Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal. Yours sincerely Gemma Jacob Senior FOI Case Officer FOI Case Management Team General Counsel Transport for London [email protected]

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