100 cabbies licensed to drive despite convictions
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.”