New taxi law 'could let rapists drive cabs':
Well, Taxi Leaks has news for Peter Rook and the Mail, they already do in London, but in minicabs.
Peter, your article is an example of the current fashion for lazy journalism, clouding over the escalation in minicab related sexual assaults by wrongly calling the perpetrators Taxi drivers.
In London, Police estimate over 1000 serious sexual assaults including rape annually. Approximately 20 minicab related assaults weekly. Unfortunately only 10% of these attacks are reported, so official statistics are kept artificially low.
Despite the LTDA's insistence that they don't see the same dangers in the Law Commission Report as other trade orgs, government proposals could permit anyone to drive licensed minicabs without going through council vetting process.
Below is the article from the Mail:
Government’s Deregulation Bill will be debated in the Lords next month
Would allow anyone to drive licensed vehicle without vetting process
Critics say new law would put passengers 'across country in real danger'
Proposals follow revelation some Rotherham victims were raped in cabs
Convicted sex offenders could pick up passengers in licensed minicabs under new Government plans, according to critics who say they pose a ‘real danger’ to the British public.
The Government’s Deregulation Bill, which will be debated in the Lords next month, could permit anyone to drive a licensed vehicle without going through a council vetting process.
The proposals come as the full extent of minicabs involvement in the Rotherham child abuse scandal – in which some victims were raped in Taxis after being picked up outside schools – continues to emerge.
Currently, anyone looking to operate as a private hire vehicle operator must obtain a licence from a council, which checks for previous criminal convictions and can refuse licences if it feels the applicant is not a ‘fit and proper person’.
Operators are able to operate only in the area in which they are licensed.
Under deregulation, a licensed driver could operate outside his area and enforcement officers in that area would not be able to check if he has been vetted.
It will also allow licensed private hire operators to pass work to drivers who may not have been through the vetting process.
Critics have hit out at the move. Rachel Griffin, director of personal safety campaign group the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, said: ‘The changes are going to put people across the country in real danger as they will make it much easier for someone with a past of violence and sexual offences to pose as a legitimate driver.’
A Department of Transport spokesman said: ‘The Deregulation Bill will not put taxi passengers at risk and drivers will continue to have their backgrounds routinely checked. Councils will have strong tools to assess drivers’ and operators’ suitability and to carry out enforcement activity.
‘The Disclosure and Barring Service [which replaced the criminal Records Bureau] will allow licensing authorities to discover any new convictions during the lifetime of a driver’s licence.’
Police estimate there are more than 1,000 sexual assaults each year involving Taxi drivers in London alone.
Peter Rook, you are an intelligent man. But it seems you don't know the difference between Taxis and Minicabs.
Articles such as this will not lead to a solution, but just add to the problem.