It has been stated in PH magazine, that the glorious and profitable times enjoyed by many fly-by-night minicab firms are about to come to an end soon.
If the licensing authorities start to take a closer look at the actions of many dubious satellite minicab offices, the shop doorway and pavement set ups could soon disappear. Most satellite owners though will cling on with all their clout, spreading back handers to managers and council officials alike, but the clock has started ticking.
This final chapter should have been accelerated, by the publication of the number of minicab related rapes and serious sexual assaults last month by TfL and the news spread deep into the main media circles.
The tout shop and clipboard Johnny owners are now worried that the gravy train has reached its final destination. In a bid to detract from hundreds of complaints received by some of London’s top restaurants/late night venues, about the behavioral practices of these parasites that infest the pavement outside, they have concocted a story that, it is in fact Taxi drivers that are composing these complaints out of spite. See for yourself, click here to read the blog that reported this lie last month.
For far too long the authorities have turned a blind eye, to a practice that has been used to clear the streets of potential trouble makers late at night. Victims of assaults and rapes, seen as just collateral damage.
The Licensed Taxi trade is now now preparing to unite for a series of demonstrations to bring public awareness to this escalating problem. It was hoped that TfL would take notice of the feeling behind this planned action but alas, John Mason, the head of T&PH stated in a letter to the organisers that this action is wholly unnecessary, unwarranted and misjudged.
Here is John Masons reply to the United Cabbies Group( UCG) about the flyer to the forthcoming Demo.
Please read the reply from Steve (Semtex) Below. A proud London Green Badge Taxi Driver with an unblemished 22 year old history, terrified of what is happening to his trade and his London.
Jim Thomas said it is one of the best replies he’s ever read.
I wholeheartedly agree with Jim Thomas.
Dear Mr Mason,
As a member of the United Cabbies Group, and in a completely unofficial capacity, may I reply to your e mail.
Firstly, and with respect, may I say that the members of this group, are not militant, boneheaded terrorists.
They are all fit and proper persons, of both green and yellow badge status. Fully licensed, fully fit and with no previous criminal convictions.
They represent a broad spectrum of attributes, marital status, colour, race, interests and characters.
I feel that this issue needed to be clarified, in case you may have felt you were dealing with a group of ex- Broadmoor inmates, or a cult from another planet.
No Sir, there is nothing sinister or warped about the intentions or mental standing of any of the UCG members.
May I quote your e mail, in which you show concern about our intended demonstration by saying “In the first instance, I would strongly suggest you carefully consider the value of undertaking any such demonstration ”
Although we appreciate your strong suggestions Mr Mason, please let me assure you of some facts.
You refer to this, as though it were thought up over a quick 5 minute phone call. Have you any idea of the time, financial input, logistical planning and concern that we have had, in coming to this decision ?
Whatsmore, we could have done without it, and would rather be working.
This decision was met, after hours and hours of deliberation and considerations. We have certainly not taken the decision lightly.
You continue ” TFL is firmly of the view, that this action, is wholly unnecessary ”
To be fair Mr Mason, TFL would say that, would’nt they ?
I believe also that ignoring illegal mini cab sex predetors, to peddle their filth, is also wholly unnecessary, too.
Then your e mail continues, and states that as a result of our action, inconvenience will be caused to the travelling public, and Taxi drivers taking part will lose income.
Let me describe what I call inconvenience, Mr Mason.
Inconvenience, is when a the parents of a young women, receives a call from the Police Rape Suite, requesting that they attend the police station urgently. Inconvenience is when a police doctor has to perform a stressful, embarrassing and traumatic, vaginal swab test, in the DNA collection process.
Inconvenience is watching a formerly bubbly young lady, traumatised so seriously, that she loses half her body weight, and refuses to leave the confines of her house.
Inconvenience is learning that due entirely to the rape, abuse, humiliation and non detection of the offender, the young lady eventually takes her own life, unable to come to terms with her horrifying ordeal.
I have witnessed these procedures at first hand Mr Mason, and trust me, that is what I call inconvenient. These serious sexusl assaults, have risen dramatically, as a result of illegal mini cab touts, and your team have been unable to stop them.
You refer to this flawed consultation document, as though it will be the one click fix, for both the professional London Taxi Trade, and the inferior status of the ever growing private hire mini cab fraternity.
Tfl and Boris may be able to convince the media of the document’s potential ‘safety’ appeal, but to us proper cabbies, we are not so easily fooled.
How on earth will your department cope, with a potentially tightened and strengthened new private hire remit ?
Again, with respect, you cannot cope now, let alone with more rules, laws and regulations. Anyone can make laws and rules Mr Mason, it is upholding them and enforcing their compliance….that is the secret !
As for us drivers losing income, please dont patronise us ! We are losing a fortune at the hands of illegal touts, night after night after night !
I would gladly donate a month’s wages, to enable your woeful enforcement team, to punch so much harder.
We have watched, we have waited, we have listened, we have met you, we have been respectful, we have been compliant and we have been patient.
We simply cannot continue watching your department, murder our world famous trade and tradition, for another minute.
London’s west end and city areas are tragically becoming like a third world and lawless country. You have no idea of how unsafe, threatened and vulenerable us cabbies are, when attempting to gain a lawful living, amongst the rot, filth and lawlessness of an unenforced and non compliant city.
It is your remit Mr Mason to stop these illegal mini cab touts, and between yourself, your team, and the woeful Safer Transport Command Unit, you have failed us dreadfully.
You say that you listen, and you do, but it is of no use listening, and not acting on it.
We cannot take another minute of this wilful neglect, and thus our demonstration to gridlock Trade and Industry in the Capital, will go ahead.
We want to embarrass the incompetent hirearchy so badly, that somebody at the top, will have the gumption to actually do something, other than waffle.
The UCG have no guns, no ammunition, no powers of arrest and nobody to turn to. To this end, we shall use the only thing that we are able to use, our taxicabs, to stop London from moving, until we can see a realistic and immediate step up, in illegal tout Enforcement.
We dont want to have to go to this trouble, and would feel much happier calling it off. But with no realistic upsurge of enforcement in sight, we have no option.
Christmas is rapidly approaching. The party minded young women will flock into London, all expecting to get back home safely.
With the amount of illegal touts operating within clubs with satellite licences, the prospects of a high percentage of those ladies making it home in safety, is looking dubious.
Our trade isnt happy to shoulder that shame Mr Mason, and neither should you be.
Until something tangible is launched from your department, our demo to grind London to a halt, will proceed.
A proud London Green Badge Taxi Driver with an unblemished 22 year old history, terrified of what is happening to his trade and his London.
Taken from the Original storie at The Anderson Shelter & published by Legalledoff