Prosecutions bulletin - illegal minicab operators

14 January 2004

At Brent Magistrates Court on Thursday 8th January, the PCO prosecuted seven individuals who had been reported by PCO Licensing Officers for the offence of operating without a Private Hire Operators Licence for London. Four of the cases were adjourned.

Details of the prosecutions are attached.

Public Carriage Office Director Ed Thompson said:

"The message to illegal operators is loud and clear - we will track you down. We are well on the way to licensing the minicab industry that will raise standards to bring safer and more reliable travel to London."

The offence of trading without a licence in London currently carries a maximum fine of £2500.

Since 2001 minicab operators must hold a licence from the PCO to run a service. Since 1st June 2003 it is an offence to drive a minicab without a private hire driving licence or a temporary permit issued by the PCO. Licensing of vehicles will start in Spring 2004.

  1. The Public Carriage Office is responsible for licensing London's taxi and private hire services, as part of Transport for London's Surface Transport and Street Management Directorate. There are currently 2,269 licenced private hire operators in London and 42,342 drivers either with temporary permits or a full licence.
  2. Since 2002 60 operators have been taken to court for operating without a licence.
  3. The PCO employs 28 licensing officers who undertake 600 compliance inspections between them a month.

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