Private hire driver licence appeal dismissed following allegations of inappropriate behaviour


The Crown Court at St Albans has dismissed the second appeal brought by a private hire driver following a pattern of allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards girls.


The driver, formerly licensed by Three Rivers District Council, had his application to renew his private hire driver’s licence refused after it emerged that he had been the subject of a number of allegations – although he had not been arrested or charged (let alone convicted) for any offences.

During the renewal process, a routine enquiry to Hertfordshire Police revealed that a complaint had been made against the driver in November 2018 alleging that he had been parked outside a secondary school and had an inappropriate conversation with a teenage girl. The police decided to take no further action on the allegation and the driver himself was not spoken to by police.


The driver was also licensed by a neighbouring authority who, having interviewed the driver about this allegation and earlier allegations, decided to issue a warning. Three Rivers took a different view and refused to renew the driver’s licence.


The driver appealed unsuccessfully to the Magistrates’ Court and, following a hearing on 21 October, his second appeal to the Crown Court was also dismissed.

In giving its judgment, the Crown Court placed particular emphasis on the Department for Transport’s (DfT) recently-issued statutory guidance for licensing authorities and the instruction that authorities should not give the benefit of the doubt to drivers when deciding on questions of fitness and propriety.


The court recognised that it was not in a position to make definitive findings of fact about what had happened but considered that the November incident was (of itself) sufficiently concerning that it justified the Council’s decision. The court noted that the other allegations about the driver were tenuous but that the Council had been entitled to take them into account given their similarity with the November incident.


The appeal was therefore dismissed and the driver was ordered to pay £2,500 in costs on top of the costs order made in the Magistrates’ Court.

Cllr Roger Seabourne Lead Member for Community Safety and Chair of the Community Safety Partnership said: “Our Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Policy has recently been reviewed and strengthened in line with the Statutory Guidance. Our officers send a clear message that individuals who have demonstrated a pattern of inappropriate behaviour will be deemed as not to be ‘fit and proper’ or ‘safe and suitable’ to hold a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Licence. Public safety is paramount in cases such as this.


“Officers, when coming to their decision, will always consider our suitability policy which states ‘Would you allow your son or daughter, spouse or partner, mother or father, grandson or granddaughter or any other person for whom you care, to get into a vehicle with this person alone?’"

CVAugbanner.gif
  • Facebook TaxiPoint
  • Twitter TaxiPoint
  • YouTube TaxiPoint
  • Instagram
ltda banner.JPG

TRENDING...

VEHICLE...

JN6013_Taxi Insurer TaxiPoint Web Banner
Sherbet - Taxi Point GIF banner_2.gif

COVID-19...

ltpr.GIF
TAXI INSURANCE MMC October 2020.gif
TaxiPoint- 300x200px Taxi GIF PLAN AUG 2
private hire cover from Utility Saving Expert

The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers.

All written and image rights are reserved by authors displayed. Creative Common image licenses displayed where applicable.

Reproduction in whole or in part without prior permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited.

All written content Copyright of TaxiPoint 2020.