Brentwood Borough Council

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Brentwood Borough Council

FOI 12584

DBS Checks for TaxiDrivers

Request

As you will be aware, outside London the licensing of taxi drivers and private hire vehicle drivers is the responsibility of local authorities. It is therefore at their discretion whether or not to require taxi drivers they license to undergo checks with
the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

With this in mind, I am interested in knowing the following:


1. How many taxi drivers and private hire vehicles were licensed by this council in 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16?

2. Does this local council require taxi drivers and private hire vehicles to undergo DBS checks before being licensed?


3. If so, how many referrals were made to the DBS for taxi drivers and private hire vehicles prior to their being licensed by the council in 2013/14, 2013/15 and 2015/16; and of these, how many were not passed by taxi drivers or private hire vehicle drivers?

Response

With this in mind, I am interested in knowing the following:

1. How many taxi drivers and private hire vehicles were licensed by this council in 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16?

I have assumed this to mean private hire drivers (rather than vehicles, however please let me know if I'm wrong and I can provide figures). We actually do a duel licence for drivers, which allows the holder to operate either Hackney Carriage or Private Hire.

The numbers are

2013/14 Total 231 of which 43 were new applications
2014/15 Total 219 of which 30 were new applications
2015/16 Total 279 of which 31 were new applications

2. Does this local council require taxi drivers and private hire vehicles to undergo DBS checks before being licensed?

Yes (Enhanced check)

3. If so, how many referrals were made to the DBS for taxi drivers and private hire vehicles prior to their being licensed by the council in 2013/14, 2013/15 and 2015/16; and of these, how many were not passed by taxi drivers or private hire vehicle drivers?

115, 84 and 319 respectively (there will always be a greater number every third year as we do three yearly checks. It is however, not an exact science as not all licences renew in the same year following recent changes from annual to three yearly licences.

We do not unfortunately keep specific figure on the numbers of DBS checks that are not passed and therefore I am unable to give a figure on this suffice as to say that it is not many. However, this does not mean that drivers are operating with convictions as I am able to categorically state that this is not the case. The initial vetting process will normally ensure that applicants who are unlikely to receive a satisfactory DBS return are vetted out. This authority will not licence any person where it is not satisfactorily shown that they are a 'fit and proper person' and will therefore discount most (other than very minor convictions) and many spent convictions as well.