DRINKERS in York have been warned against fake taxi drivers operating in the city centre.

City of York Council says it is investigating a series of reports of people falsely claiming to work for a York private hire operator that has contracts with both universities, and targeting young women.

Cllr David Carr, executive member for safer neighbourhoods, said: "If you are approached by or believe an unlicensed vehicle is operating please don’t get in it. Unlicensed vehicles are not insured to carry passengers, they may not be roadworthy and drivers may not have passed a ‘fit and proper’ person test."

He asked anyone with concerns to contact the council and/or police as soon as possible, ideally with details including:

  • The vehicle's registration number, make, model and colour
  • A description of the driver, including approximate age, hair/eye colour, build and ethnicity
  • Where and when the incident occurred

People are advised that properly-licensed private hire taxis in York must display the following:

  • Side plates on the rear doors stating ‘private hire vehicle pre booked only’, and incuding the company name and telephone number and/or website address
  • Maroon licence plates on the front and rear of the vehicle, stating "City of York Private Hire", the licence number, the number of persons the vehicle is licensed to carry and the vehicle registration number

A small plate giving the details above must also be displayed within the vehicle.

A meter will also be fitted in legitimate vehicles.

All private hire and hackney carriage drivers must also display a photo ID badge issued by the council, which has the driver’s licence number, name and expiry date.

To report suspicious behaviour phone City of York Council on 01904 551438, email taxi.licensing@york.gov.uk or phone police on 101.

Students can also report concerns to their Students' Union.