24 October 2018 - An Uber driver has been found guilty of unlawfully plying for hire in the borough and driving without insurance following a joint sting operation by Basildon Council's licensing team and Essex Police.

The case was heard at Basildon Magistrates Court on Monday 22 October. The driver, Mr Raja-Nouman Abbassi, 42, of Poley Road, Stanford-le-Hope, received a Band C fine of £550, victim surcharge of £55 and full costs of £2240.  He was also given six penalty points on his driving licence.

Councillor Peter Holliman, Chairman of Basildon Council's Licensing Committee, said:

"I would like to congratulate the council's licensing team and Essex Police for a successful operation. This success in combating illegal plying for hire is good news for public safety as drivers, who are not permitted by their licence to ply for hire, put the public at risk because it invalidates the vehicles insurance.  

This prosecution sends a clear message that Basildon Council will not tolerate illegal touting for business.  

"We are committed to protecting the public and will prosecute those found abusing the system."

Licensing officers are regularly out in the borough monitoring the Basildon trade and other operators such as Uber. They proactively work in partnership with Essex Police to ensure taxi drivers are not plying for hire, which only Basildon Council licensed hackney carriage drivers are permitted to do.