Trafford Council secures private hire prosecution after ‘sting’ operation at Manchester United game

A PRIVATE hire driver has been convicted of licensing and insurance offences after an undercover operation at a Manchester United match by Trafford Council.

At Manchester and Salford Magistrates Court on September 2, Trafford Council secured a conviction against Mohammed Amin Eid Al-Kharabsheh, a private hire driver licensed by Manchester City Council.

He was found guilty of three offences – picking up a fare without a booking, driving without insurance and failing to wear his driver’s badge.

The prosecution resulted from an undercover enforcement operation by Trafford Council staff.

Kharabsheh was fined £300 and given six penalty points, ordered to pay £300 costs and a victim surcharge of £30.

He was one of a number of private hire drivers caught out by checks conducted at Manchester United’s first home game of last season.

He offered to take the two council enforcement staff, who were posing as customers, to Piccadilly station for £25. The checks on that day were part of a series of on-going operations, mounted in response to the problem of illegal plying for hire on match days.

Executive member for economic growth, environment and infrastructure, Cllr John Reilly, said: “Trafford Council will continue to take action against those who flout laws which are there to protect public safety and in doing this, support those who trade legitimately.

“Within the Trafford area only Trafford licensed hackney carriages can be hailed on the street without a booking. By making illegal pick-ups in this way, private hire drivers invalidate their insurance, put customers at risk and face prosecution and possible loss of their licence.”

Anyone wanting to report concerns they have about private hire drivers should email licensing@trafford.gov.uk

source: http://www.messengernewspapers.co.uk/