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Taxi checks

Taxi licensing authorities can request enhanced criminal record checks before issuing licences to taxi and private hire vehicle drivers. This means licensing authorities can find out if someone is barred by the Independent Safeguarding Authority from working with children or vulnerable people before issuing a licence.

The changes according to the Home Office will help simplify the system of criminal record checks, and provide reassurance to women and other vulnerable customers who use taxis and mini-cabs.

Criminal Information Minister and Lib Dem MP Lynne Featherstone said: ‘Taxi drivers provide a vital service so it is only right that the public are confident proper checks have been carried out.

‘Good recruitment practices are a key responsibility for all employers. These changes will ensure that licensing authorities have access to relevant information to make informed decisions before granting taxi licences.

Until today, only drivers who regularly pick up vulnerable people, including children, have been eligible for enhanced checks. Today’s change will standardise this practice for all drivers.

At a women’s safety group, director of the Suzy Lamplugh Trust Linda Craig said: ‘We encourage the public to use licensed minicabs and taxis and these changes will give licensing authorities the information necessary to ensure that the public who use them are as safe as possible.’

Checks on taxi drivers are part of an overhaul of the criminal records regime and vetting and barring, scaling it back to what the Coalition Government calls common sense levels, while it claims still ensuring adequate protections are in place where they are needed most.


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