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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2004 7:19 pm 
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SEX OFFENDERS ON TAXI RUNS

Convicted sex offenders are still driving taxis in Carmarthenshire - two years after the Journal exclusively revealed one was ferrying children to and from school.

Two known offenders are in a position of trust, ferrying children and vulnerable people around the county.

Carmarthen taxi boss Steve Dunn, owner of Steve's Taxis, has blasted council chiefs for 'burying their heads in the sand', and ignoring a potentially serious or even lethal problem.

Carmarthenshire Council is responsible for licensing drivers for hackney and private hire but the authority claims its hands are tied by "inadequate" laws.

It is now lobbying the government for a change.

Mr Dunn has hit out at the council for hiding behind legislation claiming they have to find a person fit and proper to grant a licence.

He says there are drivers in the county who have been arrested several times for sexual assaults, but have no convictions, and are being allowed to drive women and children in their cabs.

A murder similar to that in Soham is waiting to happen in the county, he claims.

"The same thing could happen in Carmarthenshire because there are licensed taxi drivers who have been arrested for similar things as Ian Huntley," said Mr Dunn.

"But because they haven't been prosecuted they are given a licence.

"I can understand a misunderstanding on one occasion, but when its nine or 10 times then there has got to be questions asked.

"They are just burying their heads in the sand.

"The council is risking public safety to avoid any hassle - they are scarred of being sued.

"They may say these people are not allowed to do school contracts, but they can do private school runs.

"It is also disgusting that people who have previous convictions for sex offences, no matter how long ago, are being allowed to drive people around."

Stringent checks are now carried out by the county council, but it says it has no powers to oust drivers who were granted licences years ago, before the checks were in place.

Head of public protection Philip Davies said: "Carmarthenshire Council does not employ taxi drivers, but the council's licensing committee grants and renews licences for persons who are assessed as being fit and proper in the eyes of the law.

"We believe the law as it stands is inadequate and that it must clearly state that applicants for licences and existing licence holders must be free of serious convictions."
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So we have sex offenders driving cabs, and now the world and his wife knows it. :(

I bet they are really busy in that manor at the mo. :(

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2004 8:50 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2003 8:43 pm
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Location: manchester
Andy,
I think the easy way out for any council is to adopt the insurance scenario whereby a policy is raised on trust but if any material information is omitted the policy fails. This I think is the surest way for any council to follow, I doubt that in the vigilante society we live in any driver would draw attention to him/herself by litigation.
I don't know if I should say it here but in a Northern council not to long ago the Chair of the Committee that ruled on fitness went to prison for interfering with a twelve year old.
Ged

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2004 6:23 pm 
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Wouldn't it be nice if the powers that be said that every person on any sex offenders list, is automatically barred from driving a cab, a PH, a bus.

Then you wouldn't have weak councils being namby pamby, and allowing all sorts to take kids from a to b.

Alex

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2004 2:19 am 
Its already coming to the fore now!

Because all the cab drivers down London call the minicabs rapists, ALL the PH crew outside London are getting treated the same way!
I asked a couple of my customers and they told me, they didnt like using minicabs but theres not many cabs in the area. so they have to be careful and ring ahead as its a well known fact that muggers and rapists drive minicabs.

the London cab brigade have a lot to answer for! in this respect!


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 29, 2004 1:07 am 
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Location: Perth Scotland
Alex wrote:
Wouldn't it be nice if the powers that be said that every person on any sex offenders list, is automatically barred from driving a cab, a PH, a bus.


Yesterday I was in talks with some legal people. It is very easy to say as I/we the trade requested that any one who had a conviction for a sexual offence was automatically refused a licence
They said the law states that each case must be treated on it's merits although 'between you and me' it was said that this would be the case.
However when I was at school, and that was not yesterday, one of my class mates was convicted of Statutory Rape (obviously a sexual offence) for having intercourse with a thirteen year old and he was only fourteen himself. Should this automatically bar him from our trade forty years later?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 29, 2004 3:47 pm 
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A life ban, fetters the council's discretion, so is likely to be deemed un-lawful.

However minimum standards could be set, like banning drink drivers for a year or two, then make them take another knowledge, and the DSA tests.

Nothing a council does is ever enough sometimes, but it would be nice to see some sort of punishment fitting the crimes. :shock:

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