Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Government To Make It Easier For Applicants With Criminal Records To Acquire Taxi And Private Hire License

Cautions and minor convictions to disappear from DBS checks.

The Supreme Court has handed down a very important ruling with regards to the disclosure of police cautions and minor convictions. The Court ruled that the disclosure of cautions and/or minor convictions would be incompatible with human rights legislation in England and Wales.

In particular, the ruling affects those applying for certain kinds of jobs involving work with children or the vulnerable.

Although this case was not a licensing case, it is likely to have ramifications for licensing and particularly taxi and private hire drivers.

At the moment, the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 states that, after a period, a person’s criminal convictions become “spent” and therefore don’t need to be disclosed to prospective employers. A caution is spent as soon as it is given.

However, certain types of employment, including taxi and private hire drivers, are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. Exempt jobs are those working with children and vulnerable people and for these jobs all convictions and cautions which would otherwise have been spent were disclosed.

However the Supreme Court ruling, upholding a previous Court of Appeal ruling, will now change this. The effect of this ruling is likely to result in a change in law that will require the Home Office to filter certain types of convictions and cautions rendering licensing authorities unable to take previous convictions and cautions into account when determining the fitness of applicants for driving licences.

   The Supreme Court has handed down a very important ruling with regards to the disclosure of police cautions and minor convictions. The Court ruled that the disclosure of cautions and/or minor convictions would be incompatible with human rights legislation in England and Wales.

In particular, the ruling affects those applying for certain kinds of jobs involving work with children or the vulnerable.

Although this case was not a licensing case, it is likely to have ramifications for licensing and particularly taxi and private hire drivers.

At the moment, the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 states that, after a period, a person’s criminal convictions become “spent” and therefore don’t need to be disclosed to prospective employers. A caution is spent as soon as it is given.

However, certain types of employment, including taxi and private hire drivers, are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. Exempt jobs are those working with children and vulnerable people and for these jobs all convictions and cautions which would otherwise have been spent were disclosed.

However the Supreme Court ruling, upholding a previous Court of Appeal ruling, will now change this. The effect of this ruling is likely to result in a change in law that will require the Home Office to filter certain types of convictions and cautions rendering licensing authorities unable to take previous convictions and cautions into account when determining the fitness of applicants for driving licences.


Editorial comment:

The Taxi and Private Hire trades has seen a substantial drop in standards since TfL took over licensing responsibility from the Metropolitan Police.

The strict annual mechanical overhaul and full inspection, has been reduced to no more than a couple of MOTs and a quick safety check.

Private hire drivers who can't speak the English language are allowed to drive minicabs.

PH drivers are allowed to be licensed while not signed on as working for a Private hire operator. 
(Where do these drivers get there work from?)

Private hire vehicles are allowed to be sold on the open market, while still licensed, to anyone including those not licensed as PH drivers.
(Tools of the trade to a sexual operator)

Illegal plying for hire has disappeared almost completely from the crime statistics, with TfL's policy of non enforcement of private hire.

As satellite offices have expanded across the capital, we have seen the occurrences of minicab related serious sexual assault, including rape, go through the roof. Even Steve Wright MBE (Chaiman) of the LPHCA says they should be scrapped.

This can't go on. This has to be given to the nation media.



5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Many police officers in the Met have had previous convictions, some criminal. My wife witnessed this first hand when she went through Hendon. It always makes me laugh when I watch police in action on the TV and the ask people 'are you known to the police?' If I ever get asked this question I will reply 'no, are you, or any of your colleagues?'
And lets not forget, they have lowered the standards dramatically over the years.

Anonymous said...

Editorial, nice summary. The UCG,Ltdf forum and your blog were raising all of the issues you have mentioned with TPH and the UTG.
Unfortunately, your collective efforts were ignored and consequentially satellite offices, sexual assaults and rapes spread throughout the capital like a plague. This all happened under John Mason's watch while the UTG sat silently and did NOTHING! !!

Unbelievably Grant Davis says "More drivers need to join trade organisations for progress to be made".

To put it in Davis's own words, JOKE!!!

Anonymous said...

We need to separate out the wheat from the chaff here, some cautions should not appear on a record, accepting a caution for being drunk and disorderly at 19 should not affect applying to be a cab driver at 35.

The scandal of weak enforcement is an entirely separate issue and yes your right about Grant Davis and co. Anon 3:53 They stayed mute whilst TfL under Mason and others set in train our destruction.

Now incredibly they want to be in the front line (or just behind it!) in defending us, JOKE is an inadequate word here.

Be sure it's likely more about income from subs than any newly found principles

Anonymous said...

Well said 5.26 PM

Anonymous said...

Well I've never claimed to know much, but even I've worked out that statistically, the chances of a member of any one particular MPs or Tfl execs family being savagely raped, beaten or killed in an unlicensed, or even licenced but illegal private hire vehicle are very slim. The congestion charge is real and expensive, so it's obvious - a veritable no brainier - that one should be entitled to avoid the congestion charge by being licenced but disassociated with any licenced office; and any victims of preditors who use this turned blind eye to ruin lives and families must be seen as permissible damage.
You know, can't make omelettes without breaking a few eggs and all that!!!

The next time they register the Bently as a PHV they should have to pay £200,000 yearly surcharge to cover the hospital, lawyers, councilling, rehabilitation relocation and security bills for the next victims of this ludicrous Bill.

Probably decide to pay the congestion charge then instead, wouldn't they!!