AN INDIVIDUAL from Reading has been fined for plying for hire on social media without the correct licence or insurance.
Council officers were made aware, back in August 2016, of an individual offering airport transfers via Facebook in Slovakian.
In a joint operation between licencing officers and Thames Valley Police, Mr Patrik Lesko, aged 41, of Collis Street, Reading was found during a test booking on 9 February 2017 to be illegally plying for hire, operating a vehicle without the required licence, and failing to hold the correct insurance.
Mr Lesko appeared at Reading Magistrates Court on 21 July 2017 where he pleaded guilty to all of the charges against him and was ordered to pay fines of £370, and legal costs of £100. He also received six points on his licence.
Cllr Sarah Hacker, Reading’s Lead Member for Consumer Services, said:
“I hope that the outcome of this case serves as a warning to those who are tempted to unlawfully ply for hire in Reading.
People need to be reassured that the taxis that they are using are safe, and without the correct licence and insurance, the passenger could be at risk. These rules are in place to protect the public.”
Test purchases and spot checks are carried out to protect the public by ensuring drivers and vehicles meet the standards set by Reading Borough Council and current taxi legislation.
Notes to Editors
Breakdown of the fine:
Plying for Hire: £175
Operating a vehicle without the required licence: £100
No insurance: £65
Victim surcharge: £30
DVLA Licence Endorsed: 6 penalty points
Legal costs: £100