The government has launched a consultation, set to come to an end on April 22nd, on whether or not private hire and taxi drivers could have to pass further criminal record checks before being granted their licences. At the moment, councils around the UK set their own standards for drivers, which includes whether or not they need to make the checks at all.
According to the BBC, local authorities across England and Wales are encouraged to check criminal records and take tough stances on offences like rape or sexual assault. But these new proposals want to go further than this, saying that the checks should be carried out on anyone applying for a licence of this kind.
Nusrat Ghani, taxis minister, explained that although the majority of drivers do behave responsibly and are safe, there have simply been too many incidents where drivers have taken advantage of their job to pray on women, children and other vulnerable people.
“These rules would make sure that drivers are fit to carry passengers, keeping people safe while stopping those with bad intentions from getting behind the wheel of a taxi or minicab,” she went on to say.
The Department of Transport is also considering whether or not the vehicles themselves should be fitted with CCTV, which would come installed with an encrypted system so that footage could only be accessed if a crime is reported.
In October last year, the Local Democracy Reporting Service revealed that taxi licences were being granted to drivers convicted of offences including reckless driving and child sex crimes.
At the time, general-secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association Steve McNamara said that the sector needs new laws with strict standards brought in as a matter of urgency, as well as national database of all operators and drivers.
He went on to add that cross-border hiring should also be prohibited to stop drivers operating outside the area where they were granted their licence, the BBC reported.
A CRB checking service can prove invaluable when it comes to looking into the backgrounds of prospective employees and the process can now be carried out electronically using a secure candidate input system, which results in faster, greener and easier checks.
There are five different types of criminal record check available – basic disclosure, standard DBS disclosure, enhanced DBS disclosure, enhanced DBS disclosure and barred lists, and adult first checks. It will depend on the industry you’re in and the job that the individual is applying for as to which check will be the most appropriate.
If you’d like any help with carrying out these checks and aren’t sure where to start, get intouch with the team here at Agenda Screening Service today.