Better criminal record checks for taxi drivers

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SHEFFIELD Council is reintroducing enhanced criminal records bureau checks for taxi drivers after another change in Government policy.

Council officials last year downgraded checks to the standard level - which checks fewer sources - for all drivers except those working regularly with children or vulnerable people. The council had been told the more stringent checks were not necessary for all cabbies.

But the Government is now recommending that enhanced vetting checks are made for all taxi and private hire vehicle drivers, to give reassurance to women travelling alone and other vulnerable customers who use taxis and minicabs.

Lynne Featherstone, Criminal Information Minister, said: “We are determined to ensure the criminal records scheme is balanced to respect civil liberties and protect the public.

“Taxi drivers provide a valuable service transporting children to school and lone women home after a night out so it is only right the public should have confidence proper checks have been carried out.

“These proposals will ensure licensing authorities have all the information they need to make informed decisions before granting licences to drivers.”

Sheffield Council said it will now reintroduce enhanced CRB checks for all drivers - although they will be once every three years rather than 18 months under previous arrangements.