In today news, we bring you an astonishing fact that may well rock the world of many Cabbies across Wales today, including councils printing a taxi tariff with a soil charge on it This ladies and gentleman is a BIT NEWS world exclusive, if you have ever been sick of a Cab Driver, then keep reading, if you hate hate crime keep reading
Do any of these councils in England and Wales read the law when they ask cab drivers to get a soiling fee of between £50 in some boroughs like Cardiff, Swansea, Carmarthenshire, or a wapping £125 to be introduced in Bridgend Mid Glamorgan, soon.
We ask the public who really knows about the real cab laws, when you travel in a taxi in South Wales or in England, when you have a bit of a turn
So today we are going to take you through the basics in the event you are out for the night and find yourself in a civil dispute with your cabbie or passenger
You will find 2 sections with the latter getting to the heart of today’s news
TAXI FARE DISPUTES
Making off Without Payment, Obtaining Services Dishonestly and Civil Disputes
Cab Drivers who provide the service of transporting people around Wales and England area are always at risk of encountering awkward or dishonest people who will try to evade their duty to pay for the service by any means possible.
This information provided here today for the public to recognise, is intended to offer guidance as to whether an incident will be investigated as a criminal offence by the Police or whether the matter has to be dealt with by way of civil law by a solicitor. As in all cases the facts must be assessed individually by the Police, at the time of the incident to decide the correct course of action.
It should be noted that for the police to consider prosecution there has to be an element of dishonesty involved in the actions taken by the passenger(s).
Dishonesty has to pass two tests – Firstly, whether a person’s behaviour would be regarded as dishonest by the ordinary standards of reasonable and honest people. Secondly, if the person was dishonest by those standards then whether they were aware that what they were doing was dishonest.
Drunkenness is not a defence to dishonesty.
The following basic examples illustrate the possible criminal offences:-
1. A passenger who leaves the vehicle and makes off without paying the fare commits an offence under Section 3 of the Theft Act 1978 – Making off without payment
In simple terms a person who uses the taxi knowing that payment is required or DISHONESTLY makes off without payment, intending that payment shall not be made, commits the offence. The fact that the passenger has run off would satisfy the dishonesty aspect.
The service provided must be lawful therefore an offence cannot be committed if a private hire vehicle or hackney carriage operates outside their respective regulations.
2. A passenger who enters the vehicle and has no money in his possession but fails to inform the cab driver until the journey is complete commits an offence under Section 11 Fraud Act 2006 – Obtaining services dishonestly
It is an offence for any person, by any dishonest act, to obtain services for which payment is required, with intent to avoid payment.
A person is guilty of an offence under this section if he obtains services for himself or another providing;
The person must know that the services are made available on the basis that payment has been, is being, or will be made. It can be committed only where the dishonest act was done with the intent not to pay for the services as expected.
The fact the passenger knowingly uses the service without having the means to pay would satisfy the dishonesty requirement. It can be a defence if a person makes an honest mistake as to certain facts causing him/her to take a course of action which, on the surface, appears to be an offence, for example, the person thought they had the money to pay for the cab but had lost his wallet.
3. A Passenger who refuses to pay the fare at the end of the journey commits an offence under Section 11 Fraud Act 2006 – Obtaining services dishonestly
Provided there is evidence that the passenger entered the cab knowing a fee would be required for the provision of the service with the intent of not paying and it can be proved he acted in a dishonest manner then an offence contrary to section 11 of the Fraud Act 2006 would be committed.
If the passenger states that he was unhappy with the service and attempts to negotiate part payment and provides his details the matter would become a civil debt and would not be dealt with by police.
The boundary between the civil and criminal law will always be the subject to a degree of interpretation but the following are examples of civil matters that cannot be dealt with by the police:-
Passenger disputes the fare but makes an offer of payment.
Passenger soils the vehicle agrees to paying the fare but refuses to pay the soiling charge.
Passenger is dissatisfied with the service and refuses to pay the fare but provides their name and address and then leaves the scene.
Passenger has disputed the fare but makes an offer of payment which is refused by the cab driver, but provides their name and address and then leaves the scene.
Where there is a dispute and the driver locks a passenger in the vehicle until payment is made or locks the vehicle and drives to a police station, the driver could leave themselves open to criminal proceedings for false imprisonment and/or counter action under civil law.
Taxi drivers have a duty of care to their customers and should not abandon them in potentially dangerous circumstances, even though it may become apparent during the journey that the passenger may not have the full fare. This is particularly relevant when the weather is bad or the passenger is vulnerable, whether through drink or other circumstances.
Below is a screen shot with south Wales Police for all the public to see for avoidance of doubt. Mr Nelson said he will be forwarding the content of the news for the ombudsman’s further assessment on the Bridgend Taxi case
Senior Partner conducting the taxi trade assessment on the soiling charge currently intended for Bridgend Council Cabinet to act on and so implement, is concerned that not only are Bridgend Council misleading the Cabbie as to their rights, but also many other boroughs across the country are doing the same. Cabbies are given the impression that the soil charge forms part of the table of fares, when in it’s current format, it most certainly does not. A serious concern says The Taxi Watch Dog – Senior Partner of the BIT organisation
Also coming up Bridgend station taxi saga hots up as the Railway children get active after a warning was issued on BIT News in a recent blog,
Today we have more news, folks, as we unravel a cabbies life at the Bridgend Railway station rank which includes hate crimes
Following the release of the last blog the situation has heated up as transport Police receive complaints from station Cabbies. The officer dealing with the case known to many as Ian, had made contact with a couple of station cabbies following a number of incidents, as station cab drivers continue to complain of illegal activities at the station by rougue cab drivers without a permit, Ian responsible for a number of station locations including Swansea, said Ill be back
some cabbie are still not displaying a valid permit we can confirm
One Cabbie stopped another transport Police officer to make him aware of the same. We are advised Transport Police are most definitely on the look out
In a rather dramatic moment The Taxi Watch Dog team received a rather revealing email from one of the station cabbies, this week, who shall remain nameless at this time, complaining he is being regularly insulted, and bullied in effect over time at work on the station rank directly outside the station, the 4 spot rank.
We understand BIT Senior Partner contacted the bully by email to make the individual aware that they were breaking the law, and will face charges if they continue harassing the local cabbie
The same individual we cannot name at this time, was also found to be acting in a manner that was considered misuse of the NCP permit, as well as plying for hire illegally at the station without a valid permit, with a matching vehicle registration. Further evidence of the same was sent to the BIT organisation
It should be noted that one station cabbie disputed the NCP permit display terms and conditions by saying bleeep the terms and conditions, I thought we were all mates to help each other out. The Dragon Taxi Drivers’s identity has not been revealed in his own interests, said BIT Senior Partner that spoke to the driver at Bridgend station that held the system in contempt allegedly