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12 - Feb - 2019

Government Plans to Introduce Enhanced Criminal Record Checks & CCTV for Minicabs and Taxis

The Department for Transport (DfT) is seeking to introduce new licensing guidelines for councils. This means taxis and minicabs will have to pass enhanced criminal record checks.

The DfT has invited members of the public for consultations regarding the intended changes.

The changes will require local authorities to ensure that drivers have enhanced criminal records and background checks before commencing operations.

Taxis minister Nusrat Ghani said: “While the vast majority of drivers are safe and act responsibly, we have seen too many cases where taxi and minicab drivers have used their job to prey on vulnerable people, women and children.

“These rules would make sure that drivers are fit to carry passengers, keeping people safe while stopping those with bad intentions from getting behind the wheel of a taxi or minicab.” The Evening Standard reported.

The changes include the introduction of national minimum standards for drivers, establishing a national licensing database, and restriction of drivers operating hundreds of miles away from where they are licensed.

DfT is also considering whether CCTV with an encrypted system should be fitted in taxis and minicabs. Encrypted systems only allow footage to be accessed when a crime is committed.

Various incidents have led to DfT’s decision including John Worboys’ (black cab rapist) case that saw him jailed indefinitely for being found guilty of 19 offences against 12 women who he assaulted.

Also, Uber’s licence had been revoked after the ride hailing app was deemed “not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator licence”.  Later, a judge issued Uber a temporary license after an appeal case was heard.

Consultation meetings will be held until April 22, the Evening Standard reported.

By Airport Pickups London