Spy in the cab leads fare dodgers battle

CCTV in cabs with deter fare dodgers says Bill Lewis, below, of the Blackpool Licensed Taxi Operators Association
CCTV in cabs with deter fare dodgers says Bill Lewis, below, of the Blackpool Licensed Taxi Operators Association

Blackpool cabbies are fighting back against fare dodgers.

Many taxis in the resort are now equipped with CCTV cameras to help identify passengers who make off without paying.

Bill Lewtas, secretary of the Blackpool Licensed Taxi Operators Association

Bill Lewtas, secretary of the Blackpool Licensed Taxi Operators Association

Meanwhile drivers have also set up a closed Facebook group to share information in order to protect themselves from fare dodgers.

It comes after Blackpool magistrates recently fined a man £35 after he was successfully prosecuted for making off without paying a taxi fare of £12.80.

The culprit was also ordered to pay £40 compensation and a £20 surcharge to the court.

CCTV images were passed on to the police which were used as part of the evidence.

It really isn’t a good idea to not pay a taxi fare

The driver in the case, who did not want to be named, said: “There are quite a few local people who think they can dodge paying their taxi fare.

“They spend their money getting drunk and getting food, but then don’t bother thinking they need to keep enough money spare to pay the taxi driver at the end of the journey.

“We have had quite a lot of this happening lately and are now working with the police to bring about prosecutions, as it is covered by the Theft Act.”

Bill Lewtas, of the Blackpool Licensed Taxi Operators Association, also urged passengers to pay their fare.

He said: “It really isn’t a good idea to not pay a taxi fare.

“Many taxis now have CCTV and this makes getting a conviction much easier.

“It is a criminal offence to make off without paying. When you think about the fine, the compensation order, a night in jail and the resulting criminal record it doesn’t make sense not paying the driver a few pounds.”