Murad Qureshi AM has praised the work of the Metropolitan Police and the Public Carriage Office in cracking down on illegal taxis in London. Speaking after he went out with one of the teams on a late night operation in central London on Friday night, Murad said:
"It’s a pity the Mayor wasn’t there to see for himself the work the teams are doing in ridding our streets of unlicenced and often unsafe taxis. Ken Livingstone started this programme years ago when we learned of just how risky these illegal taxis are – for example we were getting reports that unlicenced drivers were responsible for on average one rape each week, mostly from trips which started in central London. The Public Carriage Office started the process of making journeys safer firstly by licencing all the cab offices, then the vehicles and finally their drivers. It’s taken a while to put all the checks in place, but I’m delighted that this has made a real difference to people’s safety."
Murad added: "All the registered private hire vehicles in London now display a PCO badge to show they’re licenced, but there’s one improvement I’d like to see to let people know that the drivers are registered – I’d like to see the private hire drivers carrying similar ID to show the’ve also been checked out and registered. I think it would give their customers more confidence that the person driving them home, potentially late at night, is a safe and proper person."