Private hire driver successfully prosecuted for illegally plying for hire in Milton Keynes
Friday 26 July 2019
A private hire driver has been successfully prosecuted at MK Magistrates’ Court for illegally plying for hire (blagging) following a joint enforcement operation conducted by Milton Keynes, South Northants and Aylesbury Vale Councils.
Kwesi Owuson of Richardson Place, Oldbrook, Milton Keynes had accepted a £10 journey from Central MK to Fenny Stratford in October 2018 which had not been pre-booked. At the time Mr Owuson’s vehicle was only insured for pre-booked journeys with operator Skyline. Mr Owuson pleaded guilty to plying for hire and driving without valid motor insurance on 24 July 2019. He was fined £270 for plying for hire; given 6 points on his DVLA licence; and ordered to pay costs of £500 with a victim surcharge of £30. Mr Owuson is licensed by Aylesbury Vale Council and they will now review his licence as a result of this conviction.
Councillor Mick Legg, Chair of MKC’s Regulatory (Taxi) Committee said: “If private hire drivers pick up passengers that have not pre-booked the journey then the vehicle is not insured. Our officers work alongside other local authorities to stop taxi drivers operating in this way which is a breach of law and more importantly it puts public safety at risk.”
“For this diver, it has cost a lot more than the £10 taxi fare and he now also has 6 on his DVLA licence. I hope that any private hire driver thinking of acting in a similar way will think twice after seeing the consequences of this case.”
Notes to editors
Only Hackney Carriage vehicles/drivers licensed by MK Council are allowed to pick up passengers from the roadside in Milton Keynes. Anyone with a Private Hire Licence can only pick up passengers who have pre-booked their journey through a licensed operator.