Taxi drivers licences revoked in clamp down
Date published: 24 April 2014
Six taxi drivers have had their licences revoked in a clamp down in the wake of the grooming scandal.
Rochdale Council has adopted a new and robust approach to protect vulnerable members of the community from rogue taxi drivers.
The six drivers were considered to be a potential risk to the public either because they had an existing criminal conviction or because the council believed that there was "reasonable cause" to question their suitability to be a taxi driver.
Of the six drivers, one of them allegedly tried to start a relationship with a 15-year-old girl whilst another had connections to some of the men jailed in 2012.
Another driver had exposed himself to a customer whilst another driver had convictions for common assault and had made threats to kill.
This new approach comes after nine men were jailed for 77 years in 2012 for sexual abuse on young girls. Five of the men convicted were private hire drivers, who would drive their victims around in their licensed vehicles.
Since then council bosses, who issue licences to private and public hire taxis, have overhauled the process of assessing new and existing drivers to see if they are ‘fit and proper’ to be on the road.
Andy Glover, Head of Public Protection at Rochdale Council, said: “Taxi drivers are front line workers who come into contact with all types of people, including those who are young and vulnerable, on a daily basis, so it’s vital that we have the right people in these roles. That’s why we are leading the way in Greater Manchester by taking a far more proactive approach to this issue. This sees us work regularly with our partners in the police and children’s services to actively gather and share intelligence and act on it. This is one of the many examples of how agencies across Rochdale Borough work together to protect our residents.”
A seventh driver who had his license revoked has had it reinstated upon appeal.
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