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27 Apr 2021

Crackdown on touting at Melbourne Airport

A crackdown on touting is ongoing at Melbourne Airport, designed to deter offenders from this activity which has been illegal in Victoria since 2019.

Anyone who approaches potential customers directly, or holds up a sign offering services, is breaking the law and can face fines of up to $10,000.

The offence of touting was re-introduced into the CPVI Act as a direct response to increased levels unsociable behaviour and allegations of harassment by touters, mainly occurring at Melbourne Airport.

CPVV has received reports stating that despite the introduction of touting laws, touting has resumed at multiple Melbourne Airport terminals due to increased domestic travel.

Enforcement officers will be out in full force as part of this intelligence-led operation, ensuring CPV drivers and passengers  are aware of touting laws and compliance. In this joint operation with Melbourne Airport and the Australian Federal Police (AFP), officers will be monitoring and recording activities, as well as issuing fines.

CPVV will continue to work with Melbourne Airport and the AFP to ensure commercial passenger vehicle drivers and passengers are aware of touting laws.

01 Apr 2021

MPTP fraudster narrowly avoids jail sentence

A commercial passenger vehicle (CPV) driver narrowly avoided prison after stealing more than $8,000 from the Multi Purpose Taxi Program (MPTP).

The MPTP provides subsidised CPV trips for people who are unable to use other forms of public transport due to disability or other accessibility needs.

The driver was convicted at Geelong Magistrates’ Court on Monday 29 March 2021. He was sentenced to a 24-month Community Correction Order and ordered to perform 275 hours of unpaid community work.

The court heard he had been convicted in 2003 of another fraud totaling more than $12,000 – but had not paid back the stolen money.

During the hearing, the Magistrate told the driver's lawyer there was a very real prospect of imprisonment. However, he was narrowly convinced by the defence lawyer to instead place the driver on a Community Correction Order.

Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria (CPVV) suspended the driver’s accreditation in February 2020. Now that the matter has been finalised in court – following lengthy court closures due to COVID-19 – CPVV is considering whether or not to take further action.

CPV drivers and booking service providers have a responsibility to ensure all MPTP transactions are processed in accordance with the requirements set out in the Correct Charging of Fares document PDF, 439.0 KB.

Anyone who commits fraud may face criminal action and lose their right to work in the CPV industry.

26 Mar 2021

CPV driver sentenced for MPTP fraud

A commercial passenger vehicle (CPV) driver who swindled more than $27,000 from the Multi Purpose Taxi Program (MPTP) has been sentenced at Dandenong Magistrates’ Court.

The MPTP provides subsidised CPV trips for people who are unable to use other forms of public transport due to disability or other accessibility needs.

The driver pleaded guilty to one rolled-up charge of obtaining property by deception. He was sentenced to a 12-month Community Correction Order and will have to perform 120 hours of unpaid community work.

He will also have to pay all of the stolen money back to Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria (CPVV). By the time of the court date – 23 March 2021 – he had paid back $15,000.

CPVV cancelled the driver’s accreditation in January after discovering his misconduct. He has also been disqualified from reapplying for driver accreditation for four years.

Aaron de Rozario, CPVV’s Chief Executive Officer, said the driver had made a deliberate attempt over a significant period of time to defraud a system set up to help some of Victoria’s most vulnerable people.

“The MPTP is a lifeline for thousands of people. Being able to use MPTP services allows them to participate in community life, and in many cases access employment or education,” he said.

“We take MPTP fraud very seriously. We have multiple processes in place to identify fraudulent MPTP transactions. Anyone who commits fraud, no matter the level, risks criminal action and losing their right to work in the commercial passenger vehicle industry.”

Drivers and booking service providers have a responsibility to ensure all transactions are processed in accordance with the requirements set out in the Correct Charging of Fares document PDF, 439.0 KB.

06 Mar 2021

Statement on data matching system error

A CPVV system error has resulted in a number of accredited CPV drivers, bus drivers and driving instructors not being submitted for all weekly police checks between July 2018 and January 2021.

We have investigated and fixed this technical issue with our system to ensure this cannot happen again and all accredited drivers and authorised driving instructors are now included in the Data Matching List that is sent to Victoria Police on a weekly basis.

To guard against this issue arising again, data integrity and validation audits will be run on this process.

We are now working closely with Victoria Police on an in-depth assessment of each record to ensure our processes for assessing affected drivers are rigorous and that appropriate systems are in place to ensure the error is not repeated.

The vast majority of drivers accredited with CPVV are unaffected and will not be impacted by this. However, there are 2,950 accredited drivers and/or authorised driving instructors whose name matches a person with a police record that need to be examined further.

These persons will now undergo further assessment as follows:

  • Victoria Police is validating the identities of the 2,950 to confirm that the person accredited or authorised by CPVV is identical to the person with a Victoria Police record.
  • Of those that are confirmed to have a police record, CPVV will determine whether the relevant charges and/or convictions have previously been considered and assessed by CPVV.
  • Of those new records not previously considered, CPVV will undertake a further assessment to determine the individual’s suitability to continue to operate as a CPV driver, bus driver or authorised driving instructor. This will be determined based on the severity and nature of the offence committed.
  • Some of the charges and findings of guilt reflected in the police record may have been previously considered by CPVV and no action will be required. Similarly some low-level offending may not require any action.
  • Action will be taken by CPVV against drivers deemed unsuitable to be operating in the CPV industry. We will be contacting them directly notifying them that we are suspending or cancelling their accreditation.

We expect these processes to be complete over the next 4-6 weeks.

There is no need for any BSP or industry participant to take any action at this stage.

21 Jan 2021

Multi Purpose Taxi Program fraud is a crime

If you commit Multi Purpose Taxi Program (MPTP) fraud, you could end up with a criminal record.

Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria (CPVV) manages the MPTP, which provides subsidised travel for people with disability or accessibility needs.

The warning follows the prosecution at Geelong Magistrates’ Court of a commercial passenger vehicle (CPV) driver who falsely claimed more than $1600 in lifting fees by fraudulently using MPTP members’ cards. CPV drivers receive a lifting fee when they transport MPTP members who use a wheelchair or mobility scooter.

Tammy O’Connor, CPVV’s Director, Legal, Governance and Regulatory Services, said any driver who abused the system could expect significant consequences.

“This is a serious crime that takes taxpayers’ funds away from a service that is a lifeline for some of Victoria’s most vulnerable people,” she said.

“We have a range of processes in place to identify fraudulent MPTP transactions and if you are not sticking to the rules, you will get caught.

“No matter what the level of fraud, criminal action may be taken. You could lose your right to work in the CPV industry and may have to live with a criminal record.”

The driver sentenced at Geelong Magistrates’ Court admitted 78 charges of claiming funds by deception.

He was sentenced to an 18-month good behaviour bond and ordered to repay CPVV the $1607.20 that was fraudulently obtained. He will also pay costs of $236.95 plus $500 to the magistrates’ court.

His driver accreditation had already been suspended for more than a year by the time the case reached court. The driver remains suspended while CPVV’s disciplinary process takes place.

Drivers and booking service providers have a responsibility to ensure all transactions are processed in accordance with the requirements set out in the Correct Charging of Fares document PDF, 439.0 KB.

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