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Taxis: Vetting

Volume 480: debated on Friday 17 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make it his policy to require full criminal record checks, covering the entire adult life, of foreign nationals seeking work as licensed taxi drivers. (226928)

The legislation governing taxi driver licensing requires local authorities to carry out such checks as they regard necessary in order to satisfy themselves that an applicant for a taxi driver licence is a

“fit and proper person”.

It is for each authority to decide what checks to carry out. In making an assessment about applicants’ suitability, local authorities can make use of information on an applicant’s criminal record.

We have no plans to change this position. However, we have provided Best Practice Guidance to assist local licensing authorities in carrying out their licensing responsibilities. The Guidance, which was published in 2006 drew attention to the importance of local authorities having a policy on background checks for applicants from outside the UK. It provided a link to the Criminal Records Bureau website which contains information about obtaining certificates of good conduct, or similar documents, from a number of countries. In considering revisions to, and updating of, the Guidance over the next few months, we will review whether this particular section should be strengthened.