Lord Henley, Minister for Crime Prevention, has announced that the Government will reconsider its view that enhanced criminal records checks are not needed for taxi and minicab drivers. The Criminal Records Bureau informed councils earlier this year that it was ending the 10-year practise of checking drivers through the enhanced check.
Lord Henley made the announcement during the Lords debate of the Protection of Freedoms Bill following a proposed amendment to reintroduce the checks by Baroness Doocey.
Baroness Doocey stated that, in London alone, 10% of all licence applications were refused as a result of discoveries made through an enhanced check, demonstrating the check’s clear contribution to passenger safety.
Both Transport for London and the LGA have been lobbying for Government, along side with an increasing number of local licensing districts, to reconsider its position and welcome the announcement.
TFL worked closely with Baroness Doocey over the tabling of the amendment. The amendment was withdrawn, but Government committed to taking this forward through other methods. The changes can be made using an amendment through the 1997 Police Act and could come into force as early as February 2012.