100 cab­bies li­censed to drive de­spite con­vic­tions

Birmingham Post - - NEWS -

MORE than 100 li­censed cab and taxi driv­ers in Birm­ing­ham have con­vic­tions for crimes in­clud­ing speed­ing, driv­ing with­out in­sur­ance and drug deal­ing.

De­tails re­vealed un­der the Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion Act found a to­tal of 114 of the 6,000 pri­vate hire and hack­ney car­riage driv­ers li­censed to drive in the city had crim­i­nal con­vic­tions.

And the true fig­ure of those op­er­at­ing in Birm­ing­ham is likely to be higher as the fig­ures did not in­clude those li­cenced by other coun­cils.

Birm­ing­ham faced calls to tighten its li­cens­ing pro­ce­dure fol­low­ing the rev­e­la­tions.

The most se­ri­ous re­ported cases in­cluded a driver who ac­cepted a cau­tion for as­sault/ill treat­ment/ne­glect of a child or young per­son in 2013. Anoth- er had con­vic­tions for sup­ply­ing heroin and crack co­caine in the last decade. And a third was pros­e­cuted for bur­glary and theft in 2011.

Other driv­ers had con­vic­tions for af­fray, fraud and pos­ses­sion of drugs and mo­tor­ing of­fences such as speed­ing, drink-driv­ing and driv­ing with­out in­sur­ance and while dis­qual­i­fied. One re­ceived a sus­pended prison sen­tence for is­su­ing a hoax bomb threat in 1990.

While those with lengthy and re­cent crim­i­nal records are stripped of their li­cences, oth­ers merely have them sus­pended or re­ceive of­fi­cial warnings.

Perry Barr Labour MP Khalid Mah­mood de­manded a tight­en­ing of the rules. “At­ten­tion needs to be ur­gently put to this,” he said. “Pas­sen­gers need to be sure they are safe get­ting in a taxi.”

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