Letter calls for tougher action over taxi licences

A call for action to give more protection to taxi passengers has been made to the government.

Friday, 2nd September 2016, 4:09 pm
Updated Saturday, 3rd September 2016, 9:11 am
Vera Baird

Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird QC and South Tyneside Council leader, Iain Malcolm, has signed a letter to the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling MP.

She is demanding the government take action to safeguard taxi passengers by making the system of issuing licences more open.

South Tyneside Council Leader, Coun Iain Malcolm.

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The letter is supported by Chief Constable of Northumbria Police Steve Ashman.

Currently, it is possible for a private hire or hackney carriage driver to be refused a licence by one local authority only to be granted a licence by another.

Local authorities can issue a licence if they are satisfied an applicant is a “fit and proper” person - however, there is no definition or criteria to what a “fit and proper” person should be.

Vera Baird QC, said: “There is only one chance to get it right and in the interests of safeguarding, no-one with a sexual or indecency offence should be driving a taxi. The government needs to get this sorted, quickly.”

South Tyneside Council Leader, Coun Iain Malcolm.

Coun Iain Malcolm, Leader of South Tyneside Council, said: “This needs tightened up, the same rules should be applied in every area - then we will all have confidence in the rules being used to grant licences.”