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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:12 am 
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Taxi driver cleared of breaking rules after CCTV showed him being racially abused

https://www.glasgowlive.co.uk/news/glas ... s-15269996

He was reported to enforcement officers by a fellow cabby amid claims the driver was operating illegally by not using his meter.

A taxi driver accused of breaking pick-up rules has been cleared of any wrongdoing after video evidence showed him being “racially abused”.

Syed Kazmi had been accused of demanding £20 to £30 up front to take a group of five passengers from Gordon street to Castlemilk.

He was reported to enforcement officers by a fellow cabby amid claims the driver was operating illegally by not using his meter.

But licensing chiefs accepted Mr Kazmi’s version of events after he insisted the group also asked to go to Rutherglen – outside the Glasgow boundary – meaning he didn’t have to use his meter.

It was the second time the driver has appeared in front of the licensing committee after he was accused of pirating in 2015 – something his lawyer, Al Atif, blamed on “cultural differences”.

Mr Atif told the committee: “My client had five people who were drunk on the night and gave them a quote based on where they wanted to go. It was four drops, including one outside the Glasgow boundary, therefore, he didn’t have to have his meter on.

“The other driver was telling people not to use Kazmi as he is an illegal immigrant, his taxi was illegal, and his licence was illegal, which is untrue.”

The allegations came despite Mr Kazmi never actually allowing the group to enter his taxi.

He claimed that he only gave a quote of £20 to £30 to the group, who then chose not to accept that.

Enforcement officers were told that Mr Syed [Kazmi] had become racially abusive after the passengers didn’t pay the cash and moved to the next taxi in the rank.

But video evidence, produced by Mr Atif, failed to show those alleged remarks.

Instead the footage showed one of the five passengers tell Mr Syed [Kazmi]: “You’re all the same.”

That was interpreted by the licensing committee to be a racially aggravated comment about members of the Asian community.

Mr Syed [Kazmi] was also questioned about a previous appearance in front of the licensing committee where he was accused of picking people up without using his meter.

But Mr Atif said: “Cultural norms in the UK are different from other areas of the world. When drivers come from other parts of the world the standard has to change.

“If you got to places in Pakistan or India they don’t have the meters. Until they learn the rules in Glasgow they sometimes get fined and questioned for things they do.”

Licensing committee member Graham Campbell, agreed with Mr Atif’s comments.

He said: “Many of our drivers come from other countries. It’s a very different system. We’re very hands-on with regulation. There is a shift in a cultural way of doing things.”

Speaking about the “you’re all the same” comment made to Mr Kazmi on Gordon Street, he added: “You don’t need to have a racial slur in a statement for it to be racist. That person meant something racist. There is no doubt that it was a racially motivated statement.”

[Cllr] Hanif Raja said that he didn’t agree with the cultural mix-up but in relation to the ‘racist’ remarks made against Mr Kazmi, he added: “The accuser’s voice sounded as if he was being racist towards the driver.”

No action was taken against Mr Kazmi for the incidents after no breach of licence was found to be committed.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:13 am 
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Slightly confusing article this. The headline implies driver was cleared because of the CCTV evidence of racism. But that seems to have nothing to do with the decision, which was simply because the job was out-of-area, thus the overcharging allegation didn't stand up.

The piece also refers to a previous incident of 'pirating', but that seemed to be another overcharging allegation.

The article also seems to confuse Mr Kazmi's first and second names three times, which is why I've added his surname in square brackets.

Hanif Raja also seems to be a councillor, so that's also added in square brackets, because it's not immediately clear who he is.

But overall the case seems slightly bizarre - the driver seems to simply claim that the overcharging allegation was incorrect because it was an out-of-area job - if the committee was so easily persuaded of this it makes you wonder why the case got this far in the first place.

To be fair, though, it may not have been as open-and-shut at the committee hearing as is portrayed in the article.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:51 am 
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StuartW wrote:
Slightly confusing article this. The headline implies driver was cleared because of the CCTV evidence of racism. But that seems to have nothing to do with the decision, which was simply because the job was out-of-area, thus the overcharging allegation didn't stand up.

The piece also refers to a previous incident of 'pirating', but that seemed to be another overcharging allegation.

The article also seems to confuse Mr Kazmi's first and second names three times, which is why I've added his surname in square brackets.

Hanif Raja also seems to be a councillor, so that's also added in square brackets, because it's not immediately clear who he is.

But overall the case seems slightly bizarre - the driver seems to simply claim that the overcharging allegation was incorrect because it was an out-of-area job - if the committee was so easily persuaded of this it makes you wonder why the case got this far in the first place.

To be fair, though, it may not have been as open-and-shut at the committee hearing as is portrayed in the article.


Cannot see from the report that the driver had done anything wrong the driver did not do the fare as the report states they refused the quote and went to another TAXI.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:46 am 
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heathcote wrote:
Cannot see from the report that the driver had done anything wrong the driver did not do the fare as the report states they refused the quote and went to another TAXI.


But presumably you can be pulled up for quoting a fare more than the metered price, even if the hire doesn't actually go ahead.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:00 am 
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StuartW wrote:
heathcote wrote:
Cannot see from the report that the driver had done anything wrong the driver did not do the fare as the report states they refused the quote and went to another TAXI.


But presumably you can be pulled up for quoting a fare more than the metered price, even if the hire doesn't actually go ahead.


How can one be accused of overcharging for a non existent journey,the journey did not take place.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:04 pm 
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But video evidence, produced by Mr Atif, failed to show those alleged remarks.

Another livelihood saved.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:25 pm 
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Quote:
Slightly confusing article this. The headline implies driver was cleared because of the CCTV evidence of racism.

The other driver accused him of being racist to the punters, who had turned down his quote.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:29 pm 
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StuartW wrote:
But presumably you can be pulled up for quoting a fare more than the metered price, even if the hire doesn't actually go ahead.

Giving a quote cannot be classed as overcharging, unless a verbal contract takes place, IMO.

What maybe could used against him, but it's still stretching it IMO, is that he gave the expensive quote as a reason for refusal. A reason that could be viewed as unlawful.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:52 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
StuartW wrote:
But presumably you can be pulled up for quoting a fare more than the metered price, even if the hire doesn't actually go ahead.

Giving a quote cannot be classed as overcharging, unless a verbal contract takes place, IMO.

What maybe could used against him, but it's still stretching it IMO, is that he gave the expensive quote as a reason for refusal. A reason that could be viewed as unlawful.

Surely the point is that the job quoted was for outside the district so he cab quote whatever he likes.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:57 pm 
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StuartW wrote:
heathcote wrote:
Cannot see from the report that the driver had done anything wrong the driver did not do the fare as the report states they refused the quote and went to another TAXI.


But presumably you can be pulled up for quoting a fare more than the metered price, even if the hire doesn't actually go ahead.


no you cant
hes a hackney driver as the bit about not using the meter shows
on an out of town hire you can quote any price you like,the meter does not have to be used on any hire going outside glasgow,neither is the driver duty bound to take any hire going outside glasgow,the customer agrees to pay it or not,on any hire within the city boundary the meter MUST be used,the problem arise with multiple drops as you can give an ESTIMATE of the hire,but not a quote as the public are notorIous for lying to you in these matters to get a better price and always insist they got a QUOTE

asian drivers quoting exorbitant fares outside and inside glasgow is a major problem at the moment,when ever anything arises from these incidents the race card is ALWAYS played
if the hire doesnt go ahead then its not a hire so how can anyone possibly be brought to book for something which never occured

the bit about pirating in 2015 is very confusing,but it could be that in 2015 he was a private hire driver,but now is a hackney driver,as always the sloppy reporting of these cases is a countrywide problem,seems to be any attempt the waters is the usual tactic in these matters and lazy journalism doesnt help clarify matters

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:28 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
Quote:
Slightly confusing article this. The headline implies driver was cleared because of the CCTV evidence of racism.

The other driver accused him of being racist to the punters, who had turned down his quote.


Didn't get the impression from the article though that he was actually in trouble because of the alleged racist remark he made - his appearance seemed to be primarily about the overcharging.

The racism accusation was certainly made against him and raised in evidence, but not so sure that's why he was in front of the committee.

Of course, that's not to say that councillors wouldn't use that against him if the remarks had been proven to have been made.

I mean, there's discussion by the councillors about the remarks made against him, and about the extent that they are or aren't racist:

Quote:
Licensing committee member Graham Campbell, agreed with Mr Atif’s comments.

[…]

Speaking about the “you’re all the same” comment made to Mr Kazmi on Gordon Street, he added: “You don’t need to have a racial slur in a statement for it to be racist. That person meant something racist. There is no doubt that it was a racially motivated statement.”

[Cllr] Hanif Raja said that he didn’t agree with the cultural mix-up but in relation to the ‘racist’ remarks made against Mr Kazmi, he added: “The accuser’s voice sounded as if he was being racist towards the driver.”


But what's that got to do with what the driver was alleged to have done? If he had overcharged and the punters had then racially abused him that would hardly seem a defence against the overcharging.

So it seems the racism stuff more about a third party driver making a case against him, and then the punters' remarks used as some sort of vague defence.

The remarks about different cultures also look like they're being used as some sort of excuse.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:30 pm 
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grandad wrote:
Surely the point is that the job quoted was for outside the district so he cab quote whatever he likes.


Obviously that was his defence, and councillors believed him, but the case presumably proceeded on the basis that he was over-quoting for a job to within the area.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:37 pm 
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jozefbloggz wrote:
the bit about pirating in 2015 is very confusing,but it could be that in 2015 he was a private hire driver,but now is a hackney driver,


Good point, but I was assuming from this that he was driving an HC at the time. That's why I thought 'pirating' was simply the journalist using the wrong terminology:

Quote:
Mr Syed [Kazmi] was also questioned about a previous appearance in front of the licensing committee where he was accused of picking people up without using his meter.


jozefbloggz wrote:
as always the sloppy reporting of these cases is a countrywide problem, seems to be any attempt the waters is the usual tactic in these matters and lazy journalism doesnt help clarify matters


Fair point, but I often feel a bit sorry for the journos in things like this - they're not lawyers or specialists in the trade, so to expect them to know as much as those more directly connected to the trade is perhaps asking a bit much at times.

It's the councillors I worry about 8-[


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:28 pm 
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heathcote wrote:
How can one be accused of overcharging for a non existent journey,the journey did not take place.


Sussex wrote:
StuartW wrote:
But presumably you can be pulled up for quoting a fare more than the metered price, even if the hire doesn't actually go ahead.

Giving a quote cannot be classed as overcharging, unless a verbal contract takes place, IMO.

What maybe could used against him, but it's still stretching it IMO, is that he gave the expensive quote as a reason for refusal. A reason that could be viewed as unlawful.


Obviously there are all kinds of crimes etc that don't require the act to have actually taken place for a charge - an attempt at the act can be enough.

Of course, this is not a criminal prosecution, and perhaps that's why it got as far as the committee - the burden of proof isn't so high, and they can take action based on the more vague 'fit and proper' criteria rather than the something concrete that would be required for a criminal prosecution.

So not so sure if a verbal contract absolutely necessary. I mean, would hardly seem right if a driver could quote exorbitant prices to avoid short trips, for example, or could constantly make exorbitant quotes but no action could be taken because he wasn't caught out actually making a trip and thus overcharging.

Of course, it's a difficult issue. If someone asks me for a price and I'm not entirely sure then I usually over-estimate slightly, in case the meter clocks up more than I estimate, in which case they might refuse to pay. Obviosuly I'll always use the meter anyway, and not charge more than the metered fare.

And I'm talking more about an estimate here than a quote, but in the real world the difference isn't always so apparent, unlike how they're defined legally.

And here some of the newer drivers especially don't know the area too well, so could genuinely quote/estimate more than the metered fare, without actually trying to cheat the punters.

In fact an interesting case last night - I was second on the rank, punter approached saying he'd been quoted £40 by the front car. Wasn't sure precisely what fare was, but pretty sure was nowhere near £40. I said I'd charge £30 max. As it was the meter clocked £28, which was what I charged him.

But I don't know if the driver in front just got the quote/estimate wrong, or whether he was just trying to overcharge.

Coming back to the actual case, though, I wonder if someone has got it in for this driver? I mean, the overcharging claim that he apparently refuted with ease because it was out-of-area, the unproven claim that he was racist towards the punters and the stuff about him being an illegal etc.

That's all why it seems a bit odd that the case ever got this far :-s


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:41 pm 
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That's all why it seems a bit odd that the case ever got this far :-s

Fully agree with that, especially in light of the CCTV evidence.

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