Anger as criminals no longer allowed to drive taxis

Former criminals are said to be “outraged” today after a BBC investigation revealed that in the West Midlands only 209 taxi licences had been granted to violent offenders over the last 3 years.

This figure is far below that of 2002-2005, when over 90% of private hire licences were granted to known criminals, with the rest being made up of those who either “looked the sort” or were actively committing crimes without having been caught.

The BBC documentary revealed that, in Wolverhampton, a man who between 1985 and 2005 had carried out more than 30 violent crimes was deemed suitable to become a taxi driver in 2006, despite not having offended for nearly 12 months. A former drug dealer was also granted a licence that year, despite having completed his sentence in 1996.

Peter Ian*, a driver operating in Solihull, said yesterday: “It’s outrageous. I can’t believe this is happening, to be honest with you. God only knows how we’re supposed to make a living – I guess we’ll have to supplement the proceeds from our violent crimes by committing more violent crime. Otherwise the only option left is to work on fairgrounds, which is a definite no-no. I mean, have you seen what the weather’s like at the moment?

“Also, how much less likely is a passenger to pay their fare if they know there’s even the slightest chance that the driver hasn’t got a road-hardened record of aggravated assault or GBH? Exactly. They’d just do a runner on most occasions, and I wouldn’t blame them. That’s the reason why taxi companies primarily employ people who are in some way or another a danger to civilized society – otherwise people will get away with murder … so to speak.”

A spokesman for the council’s licensing committee insisted that strict criteria were adhered to when granting private carriage licences: “We always check that the applicant is entirely unsuitable for any other form of employment before allowing them to drive a taxi. Then, and only then, would we even consider moving forward with their application. They would still need to fit other criteria, for example, would we be happy if our daughter (if we had one) started going out with this person? Usually we wouldn’t be, so at that point we would grant them a licence.”

* Names have been altered to protect the guilty.

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2 Responses to “Anger as criminals no longer allowed to drive taxis”

  1. masterfribbler Says:

    I thought that was a funny bit of news. In law school I spent a year interning at the Public Defender’s Office and many, many of my clients worked as cab drivers. I even hailed a cab on day and the driver was a former client – of course with a MAJOR substance abuse problem. He said “Hey Ms. C – where are you going?” when I said “home” he said “that’s great – I’m sure after me you need a vacation!”

    Anywho, I like your news blog. I just started my own – it is a bit of liberal satire on news/entertainment. If you are looking for something new to read check it out at : http://www.thefribble.com

    Would you mind if I added your blog to my blogroll?

  2. falsenews Says:

    Hi,

    Thanks for reading and feel free to add this blog to your blogroll. I think your site looks good and I’m going to give it a proper read through in a bit.

    Thanks,

    Damian.

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