Blackpool Taxi Fare Dodgers & The Law

Is it a Criminal Offence?

There are 3 pieces of law that can apply:

1. When someone runs off – Section 3 Theft Act 1978 “a person who, knowing that payment on the spot for any good supplied or a service received is required or expected from him, dishonestly makes off without having paid as required or expected and with intent to avoid payment of the amount due shall be guilty of an offence”

2. If someone pretends they will pay “going to a cash machine” “my friend will pay when we get there” – Section 2 Fraud Act 2006 “if he dishonestly makes a false representation, and intends by making the false representation to… cause loss to another or to expose another to risk of loss” ~ note that a representation is false if a person knows it is, or might be, untrue or misleading

3. When someone else is involved, orders a cab for someone else – Section 11 Fraud Act 2006 “if he obtains services for himself or another by a dishonest act… intends that payment will not be made, or will not be made in full”
The common theme is that there has to be intent and dishonesty. Genuine mistakes or misunderstandings are not dishonest, such as confusion over who is paying.

Report It

It’s really important to report these crimes. It shows how often it happens, and the police can identify trends and repeat offenders.

Top Tips

 • Getting home safe to your family is more important than a fare. Remain professional. Be calm and avoid strong or threatening language.

• Avoid following or detaining suspects. Although legally you can arrest the suspect using reasonable force, it could make you unsafe or open to civil action. It’s usually best to avoid doing this – especially for a small amount of money. That includes locking the suspect in your vehicle or taking them to a police station

• You are quite entitled to ask for a surety for the fare, such as a driving licence, passport or mobile phone.

• If there is a problem, make sure you know how to quickly start recording on your phone or dashcam if safe to do so. Try to get the person to say how much they owe you on the recording.

• Provide a way of paying by phone or card.

• Remember descriptions and anything said that may identify the suspect later – particularly if you are a Hackney Carriage driver.

• If you are a private hire driver, tell us who your operator is and the job or booking reference for the journey.

• When a suspect is due to pay compensation to you as part of a Conditional Caution or Community Resolution and we ask you for a cost, don’t forget to include your time making a statement as well as the fare.

• If you have to call 999, the first thing they will want to know is your location. Be prepared to give an accurate location – you could use What3Words, a postcode or a road name.


Information from an article in TaxiPoint Magazine