Cab driver has 15 convictions
ONE current taxi driver has 15 criminal convictions but the council which granted the offender a licence to drive cabs is refusing to disclose his offences. When we ran an exclusive story three weeks ago, regarding the criminal convictions of people grant
ONE current taxi driver has 15 criminal convictions but the council which granted the offender a licence to drive cabs is refusing to disclose his offences.
When we ran an exclusive story three weeks ago, regarding the criminal convictions of people granted licences to drive taxis in Comet country, Mid Bedfordshire District Council refused to divulge any information.
But after The Comet made a formal complaint under the Freedom of Information Act, the council has told us that according to their drivers' Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks, one current cab driver has 15 convictions, two drivers have been convicted of four offences each and one driver has two convictions.
However, the council has refused to make known what the convictions are for, claiming statutory prohibition against disclosure and arguing breach of confidence if the information is disclosed, despite The Comet not asking for any information that would disclose the identity of a driver.
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MBDC currently has 128 private hire drivers and 83 hackney carriage drivers registered but, of those 211 drivers, the council only holds 70 CRB checks.
A spokesman for MBDC said: "In accordance with the CRB code of practice, the CRB checks must not be kept longer than is necessary and are destroyed after six months.
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"There is no record of the convictions kept on the individual's file.
"The council does not, therefore, hold a complete record of the CRB information at any time."
The council did agree to disclose the 105 driving convictions clocked up by current cab drivers.
One private hire driver has been convicted for driving or attempting to drive with an alcohol level above the legal limit.
A total of 68 speeding offences have been amassed by private hire drivers and three offences have been clocked up for failing to comply with traffic light signals.
Of the current hackney carriage drivers, 27 speeding convictions have been accumulated as well as three offences for failing to comply with traffic light signals, one for failing to comply with a traffic sign and two convictions for using a vehicle with defective tyres.
A spokesman for MBDC said: "We take the granting of licences extremely seriously and have the power to take into consideration previous convictions as potential drivers are exempt from Rehabilitation of Offenders Act.
"If there are serious convictions, spent or not, the matter would go to councillors on the licensing committee for consideration following a set procedure.
"Each application is, however, considered individually and all factors are weighed up in granting a licence.