Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

New taxi checks will provide greater peace of mind – Featherstone

Liberal Democrat Home Office Minster, Lynne Featherstone has today announced enhanced checks for taxi drivers and private hire vehicles to ensure greater security and peace of mind for all taxi users, especially vulnerable people and women travelling alone. Commenting, Lynne Featherstone said:
“Taxi drivers provide a valuable service for people in all walks of life, transporting some children to and from school, and lone women home after a night out.

“It is right the public are confident the appropriate checks have been carried out before a taxi licence is granted.

“As a Liberal Democrat, I’m committed to ensuring that any additional criminal checks strike a balance between a respect for civil liberties and responsibility to protect the public.

“These proposals ensure that licensing authorities have all the information they need before approving a license and the public are protected and have greater peace of mind.”

Commenting further, Liberal Democrat Transport Minister Norman Baker said:
 
“When you get into a taxi, particularly late at night, you want to have confidence that you are in safe hands. I therefore welcome this announcement which will make people feel more secure.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

      1. Lynne Featherstone is Criminal Information Minister in the Home Office.

2.      The proposals will mean new taxi and private hire vehicle drivers are eligible for an enhanced criminal records check before they are issued with their licence. Current drivers will be required to have the additional checks when they apply to renew their licence.

3.      Enhanced checks go beyond standard checks and disclose relevant non-conviction information held by local police forces and details of any information from the Independent Safeguarding Authority’s barred list.

4.      Linda Craig, director of Suzy Lamplugh Trust, said:

 

“Suzy Lamplugh Trust welcomes this announcement and believes that all licensing authorities should ask for enhanced checks in making decisions about granting licences. The public are encouraged to use licensed minicabs and taxis so these licences must deliver the safety the public expects.”

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/press-releases/Taxi-drivers

5.      Changes will be made by secondary legislation as soon as practicable.

6.      Information on the Protection of Freedoms Bill is available here:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/about-us/legislation/protection-freedoms-bill

7.      The government published its report into the vetting and barring scheme in February 2011:
http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/crime/vetting-barring-scheme/