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  1. #1
    Bill-K's Avatar

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    Cool Taxi Fraud. A Two-Way Street ?

    I don't start many threads these days, so please forgive me, and humour me, if you'd be so kind.

    "Taxi Fraud" - It means different things to different people, doesn't it ? When I've googled it, I have found loads of info about how cabbies defraud their customers by following a 'circuitous' route, or short-changeing, etc., etc., etc. Sure - they are not the most respected - or respectable - critters on the planet, and we must not trust them any further than we can throw them. Just like bankers, I guess - but without the prospect of monster pensions. In fact, many are doing that job because they cannot afford to retire, or have been laid off from their chosen line of work because some 'Fred' has 'Shredded' them, and sold their livelihood to China.

    Yep - I'm a cabbie. By choice. For some reason, I just can't do office politics or corporate bullying - so I became just another 'desperado.' It's a weakness, not a strength - I admit that. There's a chromosome missing somewhere in my DNA. The reason I can't do office politics is because I can't do the 'two-face' thing. I DO lie - but I just don't get away with it, so I try to avoid it if I can. Getting found out is just SO embarrassing, innit ?

    I tell customers to report scams to the local council - who license the cabbies - and I tell them how to spot them, and what to do.

    So - I don't do the scams, but if a pile of drunks give me abuse for a 20-minute journey, and then they overpay me, or leave a £20 note on the floor, then I have no conscience about that. I earned it the hard way, I reckon, and it's my tip.

    I regularly read here about peeps getting 'arrested' by Tesco/ASDA (et al) Security Staff for walking off without paying. The police are there in NO time, and all the stops are pulled out. But, if a taxi driver reports a 'runner,' where a fare simply runs off without paying - then the police often say they are not getting involved, because it is a 'Civil' matter, and not a 'Criminal' one.

    We seem to get no support whatsoever - despite the fact that we are the peaceful key to what is effectively 'crowd dispersal' when the clubs shut at 3 am here. Suddenly, at 3 am., hundreds of kids hit the street and want to go home. They fight over the taxis sometimes. Yet we seem to be treated by the Police with contempt for being there. I would love to see their feeble attempts at keeping the peace if we all decided to take Saturday night off.

    Personally, I consider that someone who avoids paying for goods - OR SERVICES - by absconding after delivery or collection of such, without paying, is guilty of a criminal offence, and should be pursued as a criminal. I intend to write to our local Police Commissioner about this - perhaps with a FoI request - but I would appreciate other views before I do so.

    I don't want to make a bigger jerk of myself than I already am !!!

    Can anybody add their views to this ?
    Last edited by Bill-K; 16th February 2012 at 05:16:AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Taxi Fraud. A Two-Way Street ?

    I think it's shocking that the police won't get involved in "runners". It's disgusting. That's what I think the police are here for and I see it as theft, so can't understand why they'd turn a blind eye?

    The keeping of overpayments or dropped money is, in my opinion, your prerogative. I'm sure your conscience would dictate when it's more appropriate to be 'honest' (not suggesting doing otherwise is dishonest, in many circumstances) and return the money (old folk, nice passengers etc).

    HOWEVER, I also find the standard of driving from the majority of taxi drivers in my town to be absolutely attrocious so my sympathy wanes a little, unfortunately.

  3. #3
    Bill-K's Avatar

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    Default Re: Taxi Fraud. A Two-Way Street ?

    Quote Originally Posted by CornishPasty View Post
    HOWEVER, I also find the standard of driving from the majority of taxi drivers in my town to be absolutely attrocious so my sympathy wanes a little, unfortunately.
    Thank you for that, CP !!!

    Your sympathy regarding the runners is much appreciated. As regards the standard of driving - I also appreciate your views !!!

    I have often found myself being criticized by my passengers. We do indeed develop a certain 'arrogance,' don't we ? I have to constantly remind myself that my passengers are probably drivers - and better ones than I. I often apologise in a round-about way with "Taxi-Drivers - we think we OWN the road, don't we ?"

    Sure - we do. And we think we can do everybody's job better than they can !!!

    Point taken. "So let it be said. So let it be written."

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Taxi Fraud. A Two-Way Street ?

    Hi Bill,

    My experience speaks more than my opinion. When I was trying to get back to work after illness, I got a taxi licence. My bread and butter was school runs, but I did venture out onto the ranks ...... twice! I'd had enough after that.

    I still had to do the late nighters to collect eight drunkards and return them home. I had the runners who got their journey at my expense - my wages were docked if I had a runner.

    My best experience was calling the police to a collection at 2.30am for someone who refused to get out of the taxi, and hadn't booked it. Fortunately, my fare was my local rugby team. They knew me and suggested I take a 5 minute walk. I did, and when I returned the intruder had decided to leave. I took them home peacefully.

    I stuck the job for one year and then packed it in. You have my 100% respect for how you earn your living. It's a tough job at times, deadly boring at others and in my opinion, anyone who robs another of his living should be dealt with criminally. The police should get involved - ask Bluebottle! It is theft, pure and simple - a criminal matter, to be dealt with by police and the courts.

    Go for your justice with my absolute total and utter support and respect.:beagle:

  5. #5
    bluebottle's Avatar

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    Default Re: Taxi Fraud. A Two-Way Street ?

    You are right when you say about running off without paying a cab fare being a criminal offence, Bill, because it is.

    The relevant legislation is Section 3(1), Theft Act 1978 (Making Off Without Payment) and was brought in specifically to deal with the scenario you describe and carries a maximum penalty, on conviction, of six months imprisonment. It also carries an "any person" power of arrest, so you could collar any runners yourself as well as the police.

    As for the police saying a runner is a "civil matter", just remind them that the legislation I have mentioned applies and, since it is a crime, they have a duty to deal with it. If they don't, file a complaint against them for neglect of duty.

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    berniel's Avatar

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    Default Re: Taxi Fraud. A Two-Way Street ?

    I would be very intersted to hear the legal reaoning that explains why this is not a criminal offence( perhaps Bluebottle will drop in).

    I see no real difference between this and say driving off from a petrol station without paying, regarding proving intent, if that is the problem.

    I suppose you could say that the proof of the theft was the petrol in the tank in the former case, but equally the proof of the theft would be that the offender started off at one location and ended up at another.

    I am sure that their must be a reason why this is considered a civil breach. Cant think what it would be.

    Also what is the situation regarcing not paying for your bus or train ticket is this also regarded as civil? I am sure i have heard of the police being brought in , in souch cases.

    crossed posts with blue bottle

    Bernie

  7. #7
    labman's Avatar

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    Default Re: Taxi Fraud. A Two-Way Street ?

    Quote Originally Posted by berniel View Post
    I would be very intersted to hear the legal reaoning that explains why this is not a criminal offence( perhaps Bluebottle will drop in).

    I see no real difference between this and say driving off from a petrol station without paying, regarding proving intent, if that is the problem.


    I suppose you could say that the proof of the theft was the petrol in the tank in the former case, but equally the proof of the theft would be that the offender started off at one location and ended up at another.


    I am sure that their must be a reason why this is considered a civil breach. Cant think what it would be.


    Also what is the situation regarcing not paying for your bus or train ticket is this also regarded as civil? I am sure i have heard of the police being brought in , in souch cases.


    crossed posts with blue bottle


    Bernie
    A point well made Bernie. I totally agree. There again, why many things are considered civil matters is beyond me, but I won't go into that as it would detract from Bill's immediate topic.

    Theft from someone is illegal - simple as. Not paying for services received is an unlawful act. It would be rather nice to see salary penalties for policemen who avoid work by claiming things are civil rather than criminal if the person affected can prove them wrong.

  8. #8
    bluebottle's Avatar

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    Default Re: Taxi Fraud. A Two-Way Street ?

    Okay. I'll answer a number of questions about this topic in one post.

    Running off without paying a cab fare and driving off without paying for petrol/diesel you have drawn at a filling station are both criminal offences under Section 3(1), Theft Act 1978 (Making Off Without Payment). The maximum penalty in both cases is six months imprisonment, on summary conviction, and two years imprisonment on conviction on indictment.

    The other offence cabbies come across is the one where a fare gets into a cab and, at the end of the journey, admits to having insufficient means or no means to pay the fare. That is another offence under Section 1(1), Theft Act 1978 (Obtaining Services by Deception). The maximum penalty for an offence under Section 1(1) is five years imprisonment.

    For a police officer to refuse to deal with a criminal act, either by refusing to deal with it or claiming it is a civil matter, is Neglect of Duty per se, which is an offence under Police (Conduct) Regulations. Depending on how serious the matter is, a police officer found guilty of Neglect of Duty can be given a written warning or, in very serious cases, Dismissal. A fine or reduction in pay for a maximum of 13 weeks is also available to a Police Conduct Tribunal.

    With regard to not paying for a bus or train ticket, there was a whole basket of statutes that dealt with this. Prior to privatisation of the railways, the matter was dealt with under BR bye-laws and statutes relating to the railways. Since privatisation, Section 1(1), Theft Act 1978 applies to both bus and train fare dodgers, which makes it a lot simpler to deal with.

    Any other questions, please post them and I'll do my best to answer them.

  9. #9
    berniel's Avatar

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    Default Re: Taxi Fraud. A Two-Way Street ?

    HI

    Perhaps it is down to enforcement, rather than just what is supposed to happen by the letter of the law.
    What i mean is, is there an element of the burden of proof?
    if someone makes off without paying a taxi fare is it difficult to show that it was not due a momentarry lapse, a mistake, in other words that there was intent.

    Only for the sake of argument of course, but could it not be that the officer was unsure he would be able to get a conviction and perhaps his superiiors would frown on him using police time despite the letter of the law.

    Bernie

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Taxi Fraud. A Two-Way Street ?

    Quote Originally Posted by berniel View Post
    HI

    Perhaps it is down to enforcement, rather than just what is supposed to happen by the letter of the law.
    What i mean is, is there an element of the burden of proof?
    if someone makes off without paying a taxi fare is it difficult to show that it was not due a momentarry lapse, a mistake, in other words that there was intent.

    Only for the sake of argument of course, but could it not be that the officer was unsure he would be able to get a conviction and perhaps his superiiors would frown on him using police time despite the letter of the law.

    Bernie
    Each case is determined on its circumstances and whether the points to prove can be satisfied. If they can't, there is no offence. If they can, the offence is complete and the police have a duty to arrest the offender and put them before a court should the complainant be willing to pursue the matter. Then you have to get the CPS to take a case to court. As long as the probability of securing a conviction is 51% or more, the CPS will run with it. If the probability is less that 51%, they will bin it. However, the CPS have binned cases where evidence has been overwhelming and the police have had to go and arrest the offender again because they are either a danger to the community or themselves.

    If you go to Legislation.gov.uk and put "Theft Act 1978" into the search engine, you will see how the offence is constructed and the points you have to prove. Once you get a basic grasp of what constitutes an offence, you begin to understand how English Criminal Law works. However, you can never tell how the CPS or the courts are going to view a case until the hearing.

    Funny old game, these cops and robbers, or so the saying goes.

  11. #11
    Bill-K's Avatar

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    Default Re: Taxi Fraud. A Two-Way Street ?

    WOW.

    I am mightily obliged for the response from you guys. Thank you so much.

    Sure, differences of opinion may involve separate arguments - but argument is what we are about, here.

    I'm honoured that the 'big guns' turned up here - without me having to ask them by PM. Thank you, guys. I'm honoured that those same 'big guns' are all firing in the same direction - despite the fact that I'm a b100dy 'low-life' cabbie !!

    The rrrrrrespect is appreciated, guys. Thank you.

  12. #12
    berniel's Avatar

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    Default Re: Taxi Fraud. A Two-Way Street ?

    So the question is who decides if there is a 51% chance of a sucessful prosecution.
    IS it the bobby on the street?

    I suppose absconding fares are quite a regular occurence and i cannot think that the circumstatnces would differ much between cases( the person takes a ride, gets out and runs ofF without paying, bassically).

    So are we saying that the brief is, that under these circumstances the officer should not pursue, but recommend civil action because the likelyhood of criminal conviction is less than 51%?

    If this is the case, then getting back to BIlls original question, what can we do,(as a member of the public ) to change the perception of the powers that be, and convince them that the only way to stop this is to take the offender through the criminal court.

    Bernie

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Taxi Fraud. A Two-Way Street ?

    I don't believe there is such a thing as a 'low life cabbie, anymore than there is a 'low life toilet cleaner.'

    In my opinion, people become low lifes, not through what they do, whether that be by choice as in your case, or by personal limitations. They become low lifes through their attitudes, prejudices, arrogance etc... they may be cabbies, toilet cleaners, dustmen; Equally they may be lawyers, bankers, multi-millionaires.

    People should be judged for who they are and their actions and inactions, not for what they do for a living.

  14. #14
    Bill-K's Avatar

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    Default Re: Taxi Fraud. A Two-Way Street ?

    Quote Originally Posted by bluebottle View Post
    Funny old game, these cops and robbers, or so the saying goes.
    LOL - Innit, just, BB ? But you have given me some b100dy useful stuff to go on. Many thanks...fellow barsteward !!!

    OK....slap the cuffs on....!!!

  15. #15
    berniel's Avatar

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    Default Re: Taxi Fraud. A Two-Way Street ?

    Quote Originally Posted by labman View Post
    I don't believe there is such a thing as a 'low life cabbie, anymore than there is a 'low life toilet cleaner.'

    In my opinion, people become low lifes, not through what they do, whether that be by choice as in your case, or by personal limitations. They become low lifes through their attitudes, prejudices, arrogance etc... they may be cabbies, toilet cleaners, dustmen; Equally they may be lawyers, bankers, multi-millionaires.

    People should be judged for who they are and their actions and inactions, not for what they do for a living.
    I must say that I agree
    . Because of my medical condition I have to use taxis a lot, to and from hospitals etc.
    I use a small firm; I think they have about a dozen drivers. They are wonderful, always help me in and out of the car when am having a bad day, and they ensure I get as near as possible to the relevant access point at the hospital
    I can tell you I also have to use a lot of NHS ambulance and transport carriers, and I know who I would rather travel with.
    Everyone has a bad day I know but i can only go by experience.
    Also I think that sometimes people get into a cab with a bad attitude and what they get back is a reflection.
    Bernie

  16. #16
    Bill-K's Avatar

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    Default Re: Taxi Fraud. A Two-Way Street ?

    Quote Originally Posted by labman View Post
    I don't believe there is such a thing as a 'low life cabbie, anymore than there is a 'low life toilet cleaner.'

    In my opinion, people become low lifes, not through what they do, whether that be by choice as in your case, or by personal limitations. They become low lifes through their attitudes, prejudices, arrogance etc... they may be cabbies, toilet cleaners, dustmen; Equally they may be lawyers, bankers, multi-millionaires.

    People should be judged for who they are and their actions and inactions, not for what they do for a living.
    Blimey. You guys ain't so bad, after all. You can make a piece of $h1t like me feel like I'm ten feet long !!!

  17. #17
    berniel's Avatar

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    Default Re: Taxi Fraud. A Two-Way Street ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill-K View Post
    Blimey. You guys ain't so bad, after all. You can make a piece of $h1t like me feel like I'm ten feet long !!!

    We are not defined by what we do Bill, but rather by how we do it.


    (dont know who said that , but some one should have IMO):tinysmile_hmm_t2:

    Bernie

  18. #18
    Bill-K's Avatar

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    Default Re: Taxi Fraud. A Two-Way Street ?

    Quote Originally Posted by berniel View Post
    We are not defined by what we do Bill, but rather by how we do it.


    (dont know who said that , but some one should have IMO):tinysmile_hmm_t2:

    Bernie
    Until I am informed otherwise, I will consider that as a quote from your good self, Bernie. It means more to me than I care to admit.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Taxi Fraud. A Two-Way Street ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill-K View Post
    I don't start many threads these days, so please forgive me, and humour me, if you'd be so kind.

    "Taxi Fraud" - It means different things to different people, doesn't it ? When I've googled it, I have found loads of info about how cabbies defraud their customers by following a 'circuitous' route, or short-changeing, etc., etc., etc. Sure - they are not the most respected - or respectable - critters on the planet, and we must not trust them any further than we can throw them. Just like bankers, I guess - but without the prospect of monster pensions. In fact, many are doing that job because they cannot afford to retire, or have been laid off from their chosen line of work because some 'Fred' has 'Shredded' them, and sold their livelihood to China.

    Yep - I'm a cabbie. By choice. For some reason, I just can't do office politics or corporate bullying - so I became just another 'desperado.' It's a weakness, not a strength - I admit that. There's a chromosome missing somewhere in my DNA. The reason I can't do office politics is because I can't do the 'two-face' thing. I DO lie - but I just don't get away with it, so I try to avoid it if I can. Getting found out is just SO embarrassing, innit ?

    I tell customers to report scams to the local council - who license the cabbies - and I tell them how to spot them, and what to do.

    So - I don't do the scams, but if a pile of drunks give me abuse for a 20-minute journey, and then they overpay me, or leave a £20 note on the floor, then I have no conscience about that. I earned it the hard way, I reckon, and it's my tip.

    I regularly read here about peeps getting 'arrested' by Tesco/ASDA (et al) Security Staff for walking off without paying. The police are there in NO time, and all the stops are pulled out. But, if a taxi driver reports a 'runner,' where a fare simply runs off without paying - then the police often say they are not getting involved, because it is a 'Civil' matter, and not a 'Criminal' one.

    We seem to get no support whatsoever - despite the fact that we are the peaceful key to what is effectively 'crowd dispersal' when the clubs shut at 3 am here. Suddenly, at 3 am., hundreds of kids hit the street and want to go home. They fight over the taxis sometimes. Yet we seem to be treated by the Police with contempt for being there. I would love to see their feeble attempts at keeping the peace if we all decided to take Saturday night off.

    Personally, I consider that someone who avoids paying for goods - OR SERVICES - by absconding after delivery or collection of such, without paying, is guilty of a criminal offence, and should be pursued as a criminal. I intend to write to our local Police Commissioner about this - perhaps with a FoI request - but I would appreciate other views before I do so.

    I don't want to make a bigger jerk of myself than I already am !!!

    Can anybody add their views to this ?
    My brother very understanding journey you took me through. I have a God consciousness so I totally understand the moral of people that we are providing good service to. No matter taxi or normal retail. I say this because retail is normal not like taxi. You have to see and acknowledge your not there to sell a product but yourself. You want people to be happy getting in your cab. Not like retail, because you can get out of your cab if don't like it. The shop will not change, because people who like It, will still go there. Just because you didn't like it it's not going to change.

    Not everyone takes a cab. Hence the effort you need to put in it. You have only yourself to sell not the product.

    I am 33 I have a good life thank the Lord, even to take taxis as not everyone can. I have taken a few. A good few. The nice ones remember you but the ones that are just making money don't notice you.
    Just a little taste of some unrighteous taxi drivers who do not seem to have a soul and seem to think everyone else is stupid and does not realise that they are ripping them off.

    Basically come from another country, live here for 2 years, still can not speak properly, but still can have the attitude to charge what they please. I got charged 26 pounds within crawley, a town with 3 drops within 6 miles distance.

    Just a warning. Try not to take the cab firm next to troys in Crawley. Shame on them. Spoke to one person, was nice and then, when I called back its all about business hours. So basically the guy who screwed me is going to do same thing with everyone else all night
    Ĺearn how to run a business, that is what I would say. Employ people who need jobs not people who want them. They can't speak English properly and then to rob them, transporting people becomes a joke.

    Look after them and get good drivers not thieves. No matter what they look like. Shameful. Crawley next to troys. Shameful. Just cos they Muslim. Doesn't mean anything. Read it.

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