The Assistant Director of Improving Public Health submitted an exempt report in connection with a Review of a Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 50/14, where circumstances had arisen which required special consideration by the Committee.
Members were advised that the application had been due to be considered at the Licensing Committee held on 22 September 2014, however on that occasion, the meeting was cancelled therefore the application had been deferred to the next meeting.
The Principal Licensing Officer presented the report setting out the circumstances of the case. The driver was first licensed as a Private Hire Vehicle Driver on 17 January 2011. The driver subsequently upgraded to Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle driver licence on 19 January 2011. The matter was presented to the Licensing Committee as the driver had failed to produce a copy of his Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) criminal record check as required by condition of his licence.
Prior to 2013, the Criminal Records Bureau carried out criminal records checks and a copy of the certificate was sent to both the applicant and the Licensing Section. The practice was changed when the Disclosure and Barring Service assumed responsibility for the criminal record check process. The new procedure was that the applicant received a copy of the certificate and it was their responsibility to send a copy to the Licensing Authority.
The driver had failed to send a copy of the certificate to the Licensing Office despite the fact that reminder letters were sent to him on 27 March 2014, 25 April 2014 and 27 May 2014. On 18 June 2014, the driver had contacted the Licensing Office to advise that he had applied for his DBS certificate but had not received it. According to the DBS Website, however the DBS certificate was dispatched to the driver on 16 January 2014. The driver had stated that the DBS would not send him a copy of the certificate as their policy only allowed them to send out replacement certificates within three months of issue and he had stated that he was unwilling to apply for a new certificate.
As a result of his failure to send the certificate, the driver was interviewed at the Licensing Office on 1 July 2014 when he agreed to apply for a new DBS certificate. The driver had applied for a new certificate on 17 September 2014 however the Licensing Office had been advised that the driver had completed the DBS form incorrectly and the form had been returned to him.
ORDERED that Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref 50/14, be suspended with immediate effect for the following reasons:
The Committee decided to hear the application in the driver's absence in light of the numerous previous attempts Licensing Officers have made to contact him.
The Committee decided to suspend the Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver's Licence with immediate effect because they could not be satisfied that the applicant was a fit and proper person or whether he posed a risk or danger to the travelling public because the applicant had failed to produce a copy of his Disclosure and Barring Service record check results which was dispatched on the 16 January 2014.
The driver had contacted the DBS service and was advised that as he had not contacted them within three months of the certificate being sent out to request a replacement certificate, he was required to submit a new application. The driver finally submitted a new application on 17 September 2014. After making numerous requests the driver failed to respond to Licensing Officers requests for a copy of the new certificate and the Disclosure and Barring Service had informed Licensing Officers that the drivers application for a criminal records check had been returned because he did not provide the correct information.
The suspension will continue in force until the applicant provides an up to date Disclosure and Barring Services criminal record check to Licensing Officers and the Licensing Authority is satisfied that there are no entries that bring into question the fitness of the driver to hold a Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver's Licence.