Is the taxi honeytrap in the public interest…?

THE Sunday Life reports that that female enforcement officers are posing as late night revellers outside pubs and clubs in Belfast to flag down private hire taxis, thus catching them breaking the law. Although on-street hiring is a widespread practice, only public hire (ie black, London-style hackney) taxis can be legally obtained on the street, while public hire cabs must be pre-booked. However, it’s likely this law will be done away with in the near future. On Saturday night, I despaired as me and my pregnant companion could not get a taxi (of either type) for love nor money, and both of us had to walk a couple of freezing miles home in driving rain and high winds. With many people afraid of crime, and with horrific stuff like this happening, you’d think the DoE might have a bit more consideration for what is actually in the public’s best interest. Now that the public is more aware of how to avoid illegal taxi drivers, it must be asked; what is more important to the Government – that women get home safe on a Saturday night or enforcing a law that’s about to disappear?