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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2020 5:45 pm 
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Legal loophole allows dangerous criminals to get taxi cab licenses

Calls are growing to close a legal loophole which allows dangerous criminals to be handed licences as cabbies.

An 18-month government review of the taxi trade promised sweeping reform but ended without recommending a single law change.

This means councils can continue to grant licences to sex offenders, drug dealers and violent criminals without notifying the public of their decisions.

Evil Christopher Halliwell was granted a minicab licence by Swindon Council in 2000 despite having a criminal record and serving jail time for burglary.

He is now serving two life sentences for murdering office worker Sian O’Callaghan, 22, who he picked up in his taxi, and 20-year-old Becky Godden.

Calling for new laws to apply to the whole country, Sian’s mum Elaine Pickford said: “Getting into a car with a complete stranger is one of the most vulnerable situations you can be in.

“If we don’t have national regulations enshrined in law, there will always be people who will use this to their advantage.”

Men with convictions for offences involving sex, drugs or violence are among at least 865 criminals who are currently allowed to drive and operate taxis in England.

Data from the Suzy Lamplugh Trust also showed one driver was granted a licence despite 36 convictions for crimes including ABH, theft and driving while banned.

Taxi drivers have also been widely implicated in grooming scandals plaguing towns such as Rotherham, Telford and Rochdale.

James Button, president of the Institute of Licensing, has helped devise a set of guidelines he wants the Government to make law.

The body recommends lifetime bans for those guilty of crimes resulting in death, such as murder and manslaughter, sex offences or exploitation. It adds that those with convictions for violence or drugs should not get a licence for at least 10 years after their sentence ends.

Mr Button said local authorities should be allowed to deviate from these rules only in exceptional circumstances and they should be legally obliged to make these decisions public.

He said: “There is no statutory prohibition on anyone being granted a licence.

“In most authorities, when someone has previous convictions which fall outside that council’s policy, the decision is made by councillors. They can be swayed by sob stories.

“It has always surprised me why there is acceptance of a level of criminality among a significant minority of the taxi trade.”

Catherine Ravenscroft, a barrister specialising in licensing with St Philip’s Chambers in Birmingham, said offenders who’d had a licence refused or revoked in one area were sometimes able to obtain one in a neighbouring town.

She said: “Licensing authorities don’t necessarily know you have applied to another local authority and there is no requirement for the applicant to disclose that.”

Saskia Garner of the Suzy Lamplugh Trust said: “We are very disappointed there are not more moves towards legislation.

“Unless there is clear guidance which is enforceable by law, there will always be licensing authorities which don’t follow it.”

The Department for Transport said most drivers provided a safe service but admitted the public needed protection after “appalling incidents”.

A spokesman said: “We expect authorities to enforce rigorous standards and won’t hesitate to introduce legislation if they don’t.”

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2020 5:49 pm 
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“It has always surprised me why there is acceptance of a level of criminality among a significant minority of the taxi trade.”

Hang on a second.

No one licensed in this trade has any say over who else is licensed to work in this trade. Not your significant minority, no one.

It is licensing officers Mr Button, including a significant majority of your members, that license people to come into the trade.

So I suggest if your want to solve the problem, and I agree it is a big problem, maybe you should be looking a little bit more closer to home.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:27 pm 
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Location: Stamford Britains prettiest town till SKDC ruined it
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Data from the Suzy Lamplugh Trust also showed one driver was granted a licence despite 36 convictions for crimes including ABH, theft and driving while banned.


I have a feeling we discussed this one on here but as I recall none of them were "serious" crimes

Quote:
This means councils can continue to grant licences to sex offenders, drug dealers and violent criminals without notifying the public of their decisions.


you forgot Kidnapping and there is one who works in Market Deeping :wink: and occasionally Stamford

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:42 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
Jim Button wrote:
“It has always surprised me why there is acceptance of a level of criminality among a significant minority of the taxi trade.”

Hang on a second.

No one licensed in this trade has any say over who else is licensed to work in this trade. Not your significant minority, no one.

To be fair to Mr Button, I took him to mean that the 'significant minority' was referring to the criminal element, not the rest of the trade.

Of course, it's perfectly reasonable to interpret what he said as you did - it can be construed either way. On the other hand, there *is* self-evidently a minority in the trade (ie some operators and proprietors) willing to take on such drivers, as long as it means the cash is rolling in [-X

But perhaps that would represent a 'tiny' minority, rather than a 'significant' one.

Sussex wrote:
It is licensing officers Mr Button, including a significant majority of your members, that license people to come into the trade.

Again, to be fair to Mr Button, ultimately it's up to councillors who's licensed, and he makes that criticism in the article.

In fact, weren't you one of the ones complaining that the IoL's guidelines are too tough? :-o


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:17 pm 
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Again, to be fair to Mr Button, ultimately it's up to councillors who's licensed,

Not the case everywhere, and certainly not in B&H.

Clearly councillors agree the broad parameters, about once or twice every 20 years ( :roll: ), but the day to day licensing decisions are made via officials via delegated authority.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2020 12:02 am 
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Sussex wrote:
Quote:
Again, to be fair to Mr Button, ultimately it's up to councillors who's licensed,

Not the case everywhere, and certainly not in B&H.

Clearly councillors agree the broad parameters, about once or twice every 20 years ( :roll: ), but the day to day licensing decisions are made via officials via delegated authority.


Delegated authority is just another way of passing the buck.
These Councils who give out a licence to persons from all over the country do so under the auspices of delegated authority.It is time this system was removed in its entirety from what is a Quasi Judicial function.
Judges or magistrates would not delegate the outcome of a trial to a court official.


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