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Volume 402: debated on Thursday 3 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many times (a) this year and (b) last year the police have investigated mini-cab companies for (i) employment of illegal immigrants and (ii) failure to keep accurate work documents. [106554]

Information is not held centrally on the number of police investigations of mini-cab companies or private hire vehicle operating centres. When the police have reason to investigate such businesses, there may, apart from failure to keep accurate work documents, be a number of offences detected. These include driving without insurance, no MOT, no vehicle excise duty, touting and vehicle defects.The police do not routinely investigate such businesses in relation to the employment of illegal immigrants, but if they do encounter such activities they would normally involve the Immigration Service.