No tax councillor and taxi boss enraged by “over zealous” Cheshire Police
TAXI drivers’ leader and Fenland councillor Dave Patrick claims “over zealous and heavy handed” Cheshire Police left him nursing a �100 bill.
He claims their actions also forced him to make a 300 mile round trip to collect �160 which he had parted with on his journey north to buy a new mini bus.
Cllr Patrick paid �4,000 for the second hand mini bus and was stopped just 15 minutes later for driving it without a tax disc.
“I’ve been a taxi driver for around 14 years and I would never do anything to jeopardise my livelihood,” he said.
“I have purchased vehicles without tax before and just sorted the disc the next day. I was simply going to do the same again and wasn’t aware I was committing an offence.
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Cllr Patrick, chairman of the Wisbech and District Hackney Carriage Drivers’ Association chairman, complained to the force after he forked out the �260 release fee to prevent Bowers Recovery taking the mini-bus after police impounded it.
Cllr Patrick had to return to Altrincham days later to collect a �160 refund he was entitled to from the fee.
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“The police were overzealous and heavy-handed,” he said. “They lacked understanding or any discretion. They said they had a duty to stop me as the vehicle had been showing no tax for ages but it had been sitting in a showroom.
“It could have been easily sorted by giving me seven days to produce my documents.”
After taking four-year-old grandson Jamie along for the journey Mr Patrick was concerned the pair were going to be left stranded.
“The situation should have been better handled,” said Cllr Patrick.
A spokesman for Cheshire Police said: “Officers acted lawfully and in line with DVLA procedures and guidelines in relation to the seizure of untaxed vehicles being driven on the public road.”