CABBIES could be slapped with fines of up to £2,500 for illegally plying for trade in Stone after being caught during a sting operation.
Six drivers are facing prosecution after being stopped after the joint police and Stafford Borough Council Safer Nights to crack down on rogue minicabs.
Private hire drivers can only pick up passengers that have booked in advance and it is illegal for them to collect customers in the street or from a taxi rank.
Now the six private hire drivers from Stafford, Stoke and Newcastle-Under- Lyme may face legal action after being stopped during the operation last month. The maximum fine for the offence is £2,500.
The Safer Nights campaign, which aims to reduce the risks to residents of uninsured and unsafe vehicles on the roads in the borough
And following the successful sting in Stone, plans are in place to roll out the operation to Stafford.
Inspector Giles Parsons, deputy local policing commander for Stafford Borough, said: “Staffordshire Police are committed to ensuring the safety of the public and private hire vehicles who operate illegally put the safety of the public at risk. We will be carrying out similar operations across Stafford Borough in future months.”
Councillor Frank Finlay, cabinet member for environment and health, said: “We are determined to clamp down on private hire drivers who stick two fingers up at the law by coming into the borough and picking up residents with no prior booking.
“One of our top priorities is the health and wellbeing of our community and this operation aims to protect the public as they are at risk, because these vehicles will not be insured if they are picking up passengers in this way.”