Police in Hertfordshire have launched a series of operations to target taxi firms and drivers breaking the law.
Hertfordshire Road Policing Unit, along with those in Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire forces, has set up Operation Vector to check private hire taxis and Hackney carriages across the county.
The aim of the campaign is to make sure taxis and drivers comply with the law and terms of their licences, so the public can be confident that vehicles are safe and legal.
In unannounced spot checks, taxis will be checked for faults or defects while background checks on the drivers will also be carried out by police officers.
Sgt Sam Cordingley, who is leading the operation in Hertfordshire said: “While we believe the vast majority of taxis and private hire vehicles operating in Hertfordshire are safe to use, it is important that if they fall below the required standards, then action is taken against them.
“We take this very seriously and any drivers found to be flouting the law or the terms of their licence, may find that their license is suspended. This work is being done to ensure that the public can be confident that the taxis they get into provide a safe and secure means of transport around the county.”
Officers from safer neighbourhood teams and the special constabulary will also be supporting the operations.
Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd said: “The public needs to know that when they get into a taxi in Hertfordshire, that the vehicle is maintained to the correct legal standard and that the driver is a safe person to travel with. By taking this kind of action ‘upstream’, we can protect people from harm, stop them becoming victims and make Hertfordshire an even safer place to live for everyone.”