The incident unfolded in December 2021 when a Licencing Enforcement Officer from Gedling Borough Council confronted Mr. Alam, who was in a Nottingham City Council Private Hire Vehicle. Parked near the Asda entrance on Front Street, Arnold, Mr. Alam’s vehicle was situated close to the designated taxi area.
Importantly, Private Hire Vehicles, such as Mr. Alam’s, can’t pick up random passengers without a pre-booking. Doing so, referred to as “plying for hire,” is both a breach of their licensing terms and a criminal act.
Upon the officer’s approach to assess the situation and conduct a safety check, Mr. Alam immediately drove away, even resorting to driving on the pavement to bypass other vehicles. The council’s officers, aided by CCTV footage, were able to identify him. Collaboration with Nottingham City Council’s Licencing Team led to an official cautionary interview and subsequent legal measures.
For his actions, Mr. Alam faced a conviction for wilfully obstructing an officer from Gedling Borough Council. His penalty included a £336 fine, a £34 victim surcharge, and £720 in prosecution expenses.
Emphasizing the importance of such checks, Councillor David Ellis stated, “Our commitment is the safety of our residents…We aim to shield the public from illicit activities and ensure that drivers within Gedling Borough don’t lose business to those flouting the rules. This conviction stands as a firm reminder that non-compliance won’t be overlooked.“