Issue Date: 19 April 2016
Private hire driver fined almost £1,000 after ignoring council officers
A private hire driver has been fined nearly £1,000 for failing to wear the correct identification and refusing to cooperate with Manchester City Council licensing officers.
At 2am on Saturday 12 September 2015 Mr Azhar Fiaz, 32, Norton Road, Rochdale, was spotted parked in a private hire vehicle licensed by Rochdale Borough Council on Whitworth Street West, Manchester city centre, and was approached by a council enforcement officer.
The officer asked to see Mr Fiaz’s private hire badge and enquired if he had a pre-booked job in the area – and therefore a legitimate reason to be waiting. The driver refused to speak to the officer or to show him any identification and closed the car window.
After a second enforcement officer was similarly ignored, the council officers called upon the assistance of police colleagues they work in partnership with. A police officer spoke with Mr Fiaz, who then retrieved his private hire badge from a covered compartment on the vehicle’s dashboard before admitting he did not have a booking in the area.
Mr Fiaz was advised to leave the area and was subsequently invited to an interview under caution to discuss his failure to wear a private hire badge and failure to comply with the requirement of authorised officers, however he failed to attend or respond.
Mr Fiaz was subsequently prosecuted for the offences at Manchester Magistrates Court on Wednesday 13 April 2016.
Mr Fiaz was fined £600 with costs of £333.13 and a victim of crime sur charge of £60.
Councillor Nigel Murphy, Manchester City Council executive member for Neighbourhoods, said: “Public safety is of the upmost concern which is why our enforcement officers are out on the city streets ensuring that both taxi and private hire regulations are adhered to.
“This case should act as a wake-up call to any private hire driver tempted to bend the rules. Our officers are incredibly diligent and will not hesitate to pursue infractions in Manchester – even if the driver is licensed by another authority.”