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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2004 8:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 7:30 pm
Posts: 46118
Location: 1066 Country
All-night blitz on the taxi rogues

ENFORCEMENT officers have been told they will have to work through the night to drive rogue taxi drivers off the roads.

Controversial plans to extend the hours of council licensing enforcers have been unveiled in a move aimed at protecting people travelling in black cabs and private hire cars after dark.

It follows a surge in the number of instances of people flaunting night-time licensing laws.

But union officials are opposing the plan after enforcement staff were warned by the council to agree to working late shifts within 90 days or their contracts will be terminated.

Inspections have revealed a catalogue of offending in the town centre from people posing as drivers, to serious mechanical faults discovered in both private hire cars and taxis.

Bars, pubs and clubs were also found to be regular offenders by serving alcohol after hours, allowing in too many customers or putting on entertainment without a licence.

Police issued a warning to women to be on their guard last year following a spate of violent incidents involving men posing as private hire drivers.

Cllr Guy Harkin hopes the new high profile presence from his officers will help to keep people safe at night.

He said: "The boom in nightlife in Bolton has seen an increase in people abusing the licensing laws. But we are determined to make people follow the rules."

The enforcement unit receives around 2,500 complaints and appeals for advice every year with around 60 per cent relating to taxis and private hire cars. Complaints often include reports of bad driving, overcharging, poor vehicle condition and inappropriate behaviour by drivers.

Charlie Oakes, general secretary of the Bolton Taxi Association, claimed the vast majority of black cabs and private hire cars provide a "good, honest service". But he admitted there were problems in the town centre with a minority of private hire drivers picking up fares illegally after removing their identification.

Martin Challender, secretary of the Bolton branch of UNISON, accused the council of resorting to bully boy tactics in telling three full-time enforcement officers to sign new contracts or leave their positions.

I can't believe the LOs are having a rare up. If they don't want to be LOs, then don't take our bloody money. :shock:


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2004 1:24 am 

Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2004 11:42 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Tyne & Wear
Hi Sussex Man.
We have enforcement officers who go beyond the call of duty, they come out during the day and night, on any day / night of the week, they dont give a damn how much disruption they cause to bookings or passengers, they have whole lanes blocked off for vehicle inspections with the boys in blue in assistance. Jobs worth kind of folks, I think folks was the right word to use.

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