Inside Out joins the police and Birmingham City Council’s taxi enforcement team looking for unlicensed drivers, known as ”plyers” in a clampdown on bogus cabs.
Only hackney drivers can legally pick up customers without a booking so private hire cabs who take fares straight from the street are breaking the law.
Most private cabs who pick up passengers from the street do this to make some quick money. But some have a darker motive to lure vulnerable, often drunk, lone women into their cars.
Seventy five women have been sexually assaulted while trying to get home from a night out in Birmingham in the past two years.
Inside Out speaks to one woman, 19-year-old Sarah, who was subjected to a serious sexual attack by a bogus taxi driver. Her attacker was jailed for five years in December 2013.
Most of the city’s 1,300 legitimate black cabs and 4,500 private hire drivers work hard to make an honest living and want the rogues off the road as much as anyone else.
About 100 drivers lose their licenses for ‘plying’ offences in Birmingham every year and these are the drivers being targeted by the police.
Inside Out West Midlands is broadcast on BBC One at 19:30 on Monday, 13 January on BBC One and nationwide on the iPlayer for seven days thereafter.