A WARNING has been issued following reports of unlicensed minicabs operating and visibly touting in the region.
Hartlepool Borough Council has received reports that a number of vehicles have been seen on Friday and Saturday nights in the town centre area offering their services to revellers.
There are also reports that ‘cheap Taxi/Private Hire rides’ are being offered via Facebook and other social media, from an operator not licensed in the Hartlepool area.
Ian Harrison, the Council’s trading standards and licensing manager, said: “Vehicles that are operating as unlicensed and passengers will not be insured. Therefore, anyone travelling in them is putting themselves at risk. There are also obvious dangers associated with accepting a lift from a complete stranger who has not been the subject of rigorous independent checks.
“I am greatly concerned about the motives behind those who are offering ‘cheap’ taxi rides to people who have been enjoying a night out and who may have had too much to drink. Not only may they be putting the public at risk but they also undermine the trust that the public can have in the licensed taxi trade".