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LICENCE REVOKED: ‘Knocking someone out was safe and effective way to diffuse situation’ says cabbie

Updated: Aug 12, 2022

A dual licensed taxi and private hire driver has had their licence REVOKED after knocking out a man.

The taxi driver licensed in Cornwall told licensing officials that “knocking someone out was a safe and effective way” to diffuse an “implied threat” in the early hours on Sunday 15 May 2022.

The cabbie placed the knocked out man into the recovery position and then left to pick up other customers.

Members of the Cornwall Council’s Driver and Operator Licence Sub Committee reviewed the evidence and agreed to revoke his licence during an urgent meeting held on 28 July. The driver was not considered a ‘fit and proper person’ to hold a licence.

In committee notes released by the council it said: “Members noted the information set out in the Senior Licensing Officer’s report and the appendices to that report.

“Members heard from the applicant as to the reasons why no action should be taken against his licence and considered the documentation provided where it was relevant to the matter before them.

“Members also noted that their first duty in licensing drivers was the protection of the public and public safety. Taking all the information into account members found applicant CD237 not to be a fit and proper person to hold a hackney carriage and private hire vehicle driver’s licence and the interests of public safety required the licence to be revoked with immediate effect.

“Members had regard to the Statutory Taxi Private Hire Vehicle Standards and considered whether on the information before them they would allow a person for whom they cared, regardless of their condition, to travel alone in a vehicle with CD237 at any time, day or night. Taking all relevant matters into consideration they concluded that they could not.

“On balance members were of the opinion that the applicant was not a fit and proper person to hold such a licence and there were serious public safety concerns.”

Members listed four key reasons of concern which were all considered to reach their decision. The notes listed:

  • That CD237 knocked a man unconscious in the early hours of Sunday 15th May 2022 and in the statement to the Licensing Service CD237 stated he “remained so for several minutes”. That was of great concern for Members.

  • CD237 claimed initially in that statement that the man had caused criminal damage to his car by chipping off some paint. He informed members that there was a “loud bang” to a window but there was no damage. CD237 claimed the man was intoxicated and was accompanied by another man, whom CD237 claimed to be threatening and if the need arose would have diffused the situation in another way by using a different restraining technique.

  • He claimed that when he confronted the man there was an “implied threat” to him and that is why he acted as he did. Members were concerned as to the criteria used by CD237 to assess any threat. He informed members that he was an “evidence based researcher” into “emotional intelligence” and that knocking someone out was a safe and effective way to diffuse a situation such as this. Members could not agree with such a position. They had serious concerns that he would react similarly if he perceived an “implied threat” in the future. There were clear public safety concerns.

  • Members had concerns that CD237 after putting the man in the recovery position left the scene to pick up other fares. Members would have expected a fit and proper person to have contacted the Police and/or the Ambulance Service as soon as was possible and to have a break before resuming work. It was only after working and returning to the rank that he spoke to the Police. They also noted it took him some 5 days to inform the Licensing Section. They were aware that he had seven days in which to inform the Section but would have expected him to inform the Section immediately of such a serious incident.


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