Taxi driver left unable to work due to security check delays which are still not completed three mon

A Henley-on-Thames taxi driver has been left unable to work because of delays to his Disclosure and Barring Service check. Cabbie Saghir Ahmed re-applied for a new DBS check on 8 April, in preparation for the expiration of his previous one which was due to end on 11 July - but he is still waiting for it to be approved over three months on.

Ahmed, who has been a hackney carriage taxi driver for 14 years, working from the rank in Hart Street, Henley, says he is now unable to buy food, pay his mortgage or cover the insurance for his taxi. The 45-year-old, father of five, who lives in High Wycombe, said he has never had to deal with such an issue surrounding the DBS check which all taxi drivers must complete every three years to continue working.

Mr Ahmed has been unable to work since his previous DBS expired and has even had to resort to borrowing money from friends to purchase food for his family.

Stuck at home and out of work during a busy period with no explanation, Ahmed has been left angry and frustrated. As reported in the Henley Standard, he said he has called the DBS and South Oxfordshire District Council, the licensing authority, several times but nobody could help. Mr Ahmed went on to explain every phone call with the council turned out the same - they would tell him he had to just wait. Chairman of the South Oxfordshire District Taxi Drivers Association, Mr Mohammed Parvaiz, wrote to the district council asking for action on Mr Ahmed’s case. He said: “He is still waiting for the DBS check to come through, which is not his fault. In the past the council has issued the taxi badge under these circumstances. “I believe the delay of not issuing the badge is out of order and clearly it’s not his fault. He submitted the application well in time. He has been a taxi driver for a long time, they have all his past history. “This is the only job he knows. He is now out of a job because of this issue. You need to understand that he has a family and a mortgage to pay.” A spokeswoman for the district council said: “We are unable to issue a driver’s licence without the DBS disclosure, as this is required for us to determine whether a driver is a fit and proper person to hold a licence. “Where the DBS service level target is exceeded (60+ days at any particular stage) then both we and the driver can escalate this directly with the DBS.” A spokesman for the DBS said: “We currently produce more than 85 per cent of all enhanced and standard level checks within 21 days and more than 96 per cent in 42 days. Some checks can take longer than this for varied reasons that are often outside of our direct control.”

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