ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Politics and Social Issues»
  • Transportation

Glasgow Taxi Gangster Wars

Updated on January 31, 2013
Glasgow private hire car
Glasgow private hire car

The taxi gangster wars in Glasgow are worth knowing about, so that it can hopefully be prevented from happening in other places.

The City of Glasgow has always used London type cabs for its official fleet, and these taxi cabs are maintained to the highest standards to offer the public comfort and security.

The taxi drivers in Glasgow are police checked to ensure they are fit and proper to be left in charge of sometimes vulnerable members of the public.

Glasgow taxi drivers take pride in their work, and you won’t find a happier nor friendlier bunch of taxi drivers anywhere else in the world.

That said, Glasgow is a city of high unemployment, and more than a few suffer from what can only be described as ‘lazy-itis’ – people who don’t actually want to work because out of work they receive more in benefits from the Social Security than they would in a low paid job, and anyway, they can’t be bothered.

Birth of the Private Hire

This system brought with it people who wanted just that little bit more.

They didn’t want a job, but they wanted more money, and so these people started using their cars – old bangers mostly – to ferry neighbours and friends around for money.

As this is basically what a taxi does, the taxi trade soon cottoned on to them, and labelled them pirates.

As the pirates grew in numbers, they got bolder, even going as far as opening offices and taking bookings, but without having licences, nor insurance nor suitable vehicles.

By the 1980s the problem had become so bad, that new legislation was introduced to deal with them – the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982.

This Law legitimized them. Now Scotland had another tier in the public transport system, called Private Hire.

Their cars had to pass a test and be fitted with a plate attached to the rear bumper to let the public know that they were licensed, and each driver was issued with a private hire driver’s licence.

For a while it was a free-for-all. Every newly unemployed bought himself a car, got registered and went to work.

In the 1980’s, Scotland suffered badly under Maggie Thatcher’s government and many heavy industries were closed for good.

Unemployment soared, and so did the numbers ofprivate hire drivers.

signing on the dole
signing on the dole

Many private hire drivers also claimed unemployment benefits

Not much was done to stop the flood; politically it looked better on the books to have less people on the unemployment register.

Little did they realise at the time that very few of these people actually went to the effort of signing off and were still claiming benefits.

There was not enough work for everyone, and so a lot of the private hire drivers found they could not afford the ‘plate’ (license) nor the insurance.

Perhaps this was where the criminal elements moved in, but before you could blink an eye, there was a healthy fake plate/license/insurance racket going on.

This was ONLY in the private hire trade; the taxis carried on as normal.

Guns and large amount of cash found in a private hire car
Guns and large amount of cash found in a private hire car

The private hire and the drug trade

No-one unless they were an insider knew when the drug trade started to be part of the private hire trade, but with a huge and growing population of young addicts, addicted to first of all Temazepam and later heroin, the private hire became couriers.

Police found, on stopping one such car in the east end of the city, the driver to be in possession of over £20,000 in used notes and with a handgun underneath his seat.

One by one all the smaller private hire offices were burnt down, usually when they were still open for trade. Luckily no-one was killed.

Rumor has it that they had refused to be ‘bought over’.

Word spread of shady owners, of gangster involvement.

Police set traps, but still they got away (insider involvement?).

The Licensee
The Licensee
The Fat Controller (from a site called Mafia.com - doesn't that tell you everything?)
The Fat Controller (from a site called Mafia.com - doesn't that tell you everything?)

The gangsters that controlled the private hire trade

Meanwhile, the owners got richer and richer.

One such, known as ‘The Licensee’, owned a plush £1M house yet had never paid a penny in tax in his life, nor could he show a court any logical way he could have earned the money.

Everything he had, he put in his wife’s name, and in Scotland a wife cannot in Law be forced to testify against her husband.

Now he has sold out to yet another ‘gangster’ whose background is clean, even if one of the companies he owns was found to operating with over 100 stolen cars, and he was himself at one point charged with burning down a police car pound.

The charges were later dropped and other people took the blame for the stolen cars, even though it was his company.

This man, known as ‘The Fat Controller’ is a multi-millionaire and he has built his empire up in just a few short years though tanning salons and private hire companies, which just incidentally, being cash businesses, are perfect for money laundering.

Everyone, it seems, who is a director of a private hire company in Scotland, has a shady background with at least some involvement in the drugs trade.

A note to the uninformed. You will never become a millionaire driving taxis, nor by owning legitimate taxi or private hire firms.

So if you ever visit Glasgow, stay clear.

Only used a licensed taxi when out and about. Be safe. Be secure.

Glasgow’s licensed taxi fleet are the only ones you should use if you are concerned about your safety.
In any other Scottish city or airport terminal, use the taxis from the ranks even if they don’t drive London style taxis.

If they have a taxi sign on the roof saying the word TAXI, then you know you will be safe.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Farnboroughtaxis profile image

      Farnborough Taxi Online 5 years ago from Farnborough, Hampshire

      There had been some clashes between 'hackney' taxi drivers and private car hire operators/drivers in Rushmoor area, there are only a couple of large hackney taxi operators in Rushmoor and they dominate the market sometime 20 years ago, these days, with the opportunities wide open, private car hire operators sprouted like mushrooms, a private car hire driver could be a one-man taxi operator.

      What are the efforts of Glasgow Taxi Licesing to to control or eradicate what you had claimed 'fake licenses for private car hire'? Aren't the hackney taxi drivers vigilant enough who are licensed and what are the fake license plates looked like?

    • IzzyM profile image
      Author

      IzzyM 7 years ago from UK

      Thanks Simone. Do you think I need to change my home address soon?

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 7 years ago from San Francisco

      Whoah, that's intense! Great Hub!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)