The first wave of new officers from Transport for London’s (TfL) Taxi and Private Hire Compliance team have hit London’s Streets.
More than 4,800 people applied for the 250 positions, which were announced four months ago by Mayor of London Sadiq Kahn.
The first 50 new officers are joining the existing team of 82, who provide a highly visible uniformed presence across the Capital.
“Our Compliance Officers are at the forefront of combatting unsafe and unlicensed taxi and private hire drivers who not only pose a serious risk to passenger safety, but undermines licensed, law abiding drivers.
“These new officers are being deployed on an intelligence led basis, moving quickly when information is received. This will allow us to significantly increase levels of enforcement so we can robustly deal with regulatory breaches and drivers who are breaking the law,” said Steve Burton, TfL’s director of Enforcement and On-Street Operations.
Officers will be cracking down on illegal activity such as touting and plying for hire, as well as undertaking vehicle checks, ensuring drivers are licensed and have the correct paperwork. They will also provide advice to the public on how they can get home safely.
Over the next six months the team will continue to grow, so by summer 2017 there will be more than 300 Compliance Officers working across London. This is the largest number of Compliance Officers in Mayoral history.
Since April 2016, TfL’s existing Compliance Officers have stopped approximately 37,000 black taxis and minicabs to check drivers are carrying correct identification and paperwork, and checking their vehicles for any defects.
Khan, added: “As I outlined in my manifesto, we must ensure that safety standards are rigorously enforced across London’s black cab and private hire industries.
“Every Londoner and visitor to our city must feel safe getting around London. The roll-out of more compliance officers over the coming months will be crucial in driving up standards and ensuring Londoners remain safe.”