11:00AM, Friday 08 June 2018
More than 50 taxi and private hire drivers in Slough have previous criminal convictions, including for driving and violent offences.
Of the 952 hackney carriages, private hire and combination licence drivers in the borough, 52 have previous criminal convictions, many with more than one.
A Freedom of Information request to Slough Borough Council revealed that of the 52, twenty were convicted of driving-related charges, and 11 were convicted for violent charges.
The driving-related charges include driving under the influence of alcohol, dangerous driving, failing to stop after an accident, and driving while disqualified.
Some of the violent charges include battery, actual bodily harm and common assault.
A council spokeswoman said: “The list of offences goes back to 1976 and the vast majority of offences relate to the 70s, 80s, 90s and mid-2000s.
“When governing any licence application the main criteria is the safety of the public but also each case has to be dealt with on its own individual merits.”
When issuing licences to taxi drivers in the borough, council guidelines state that all drivers with a criminal record must be deemed ‘fit and proper’.
In Slough, individuals who have been convicted of offences of dishonesty will not be granted a licence for as long as it is ‘deemed necessary in the interest of public safety’.
Those with violent convictions will not be granted a licence for a minimum of 10 years after the conviction becomes spent.
Of the 952 taxis licensed in the borough, about 100 are hackney carriages. The FOI does not state which licence any of the convicted drivers carry.
Ranjit Ghotra, secretary of the Slough Taxi Federation, spoke on behalf of hackney carriage drivers and assured customers that they were not at risk.
He said: “The customers can rest assured that they are always safe.
“If a major incident happens the council could revoke their licence.
“We have a points system, so if you get too many speeding points, your licence could get revoked. If you have one major incident, the licence could be revoked.”
“We work very closely with the council, the public doesn’t need to worry.”
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