New national rules planned on taxi drivers following Rotherham scandal

Tougher national measures to prevent taxi drivers being involved in child sexual exploitation are to be introduced in the wake of the Rotherham scandal.

The Government has agreed to introduce new measures placing a duty on local councils ‘to consider how they can prevent child sexual exploitation when they issue licences for taxis and private hire vehicles’.

It follows campaigning from a Rotherham steering group made up of abuse survivors and town MP Sarah Champion. Tougher measures have already been ordered in Rotherham, where all taxis will have to contain CCTV cameras from next month.

Read on… http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/new-national-rules-planned-on-taxi-drivers-following-rotherham-scandal-1-7965297

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27 Responses to New national rules planned on taxi drivers following Rotherham scandal

  1. Paddy Cawkwell says:

    This is welcome, obviously, but surely the priority should be for RMBC and SYP to reside on planet Earth before they talk about moving forward?

  2. sba says:

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/vile-sex-gang-caged-168-8219903
    “Fifteen men have been jailed for 168 years for “systematically” grooming and sexually abusing teenage girls in Halifax – with one man getting 25yrs alone.”

  3. Colin Tawn says:

    I can see a large loophole in this scheme:
    Let us assume A Driver has found a vulnerable young girl and wants to ‘share’ her or is involved with transporting illegal substances. The Taxi CCTV systems are not GPS trackers or in anyway similar to an HGV tachograph so what safeguards are there to prohibit A Driver from not switching on the CCTV?
    You cannot argue that journeys are logged via mileage,these are private vehicles and A Driver tells you he has taken his wife/children/granny shopping or to the cinema. What happens then?
    To be fully effective the operation of a taxi CCTV system relies on drivers being complete honest and complying with the legislation. Some drivers may not accept this and there is the large hole in this scheme.
    Someone please prove me wrong otherwise all this is a waste of time and money.

    • 1st Time User says:

      This has been something I have spoke about for a long time …. taxi cabs should not be allowed to do ANY private mileage … they should be treated same as HGVs… tachographs should be used and they should also bring some of the professionalism that HGV drivers have by abiding to strict driver hours ..a walk around check of the vehicle before the start of each shift ..lights, tyres etc ..and the law should come down heavy on any driver found to be using a car with any defects ….I would also like to know how many private hire vehicles are on Rotherham’s roads that have been bought from online auctions that have previously been written off … this is something that’s never mentioned …IF I were to hire a car I would like to at least know it was safe .. but nobody checks the quality of repairs done to such cars which are bought damaged because there is no requirement to .

      • malcontent says:

        Questions were asked about the lack of restrictions on the number of hours a taxi driver works some years ago. They are allowed to work any amount of hours they like because it’s claimed they are not driving continuously as a HGV driver would be. Though when you consider the number of properties some of these taxi drivers own, for the means to have been acquired for them to have purchased them legally, they must be doing back to back airport runs seven days a week – plus a little drug pushing on the side of course.

  4. Colin Tawn says:

    Apologies for typo:
    Should say COMPLETLY honest.

  5. Colin Tawn says:

    @1st Time User.

    ‘Licensed Vehicle Age and Emissions Policy
    From the date of implementation of this policy, licences will not normally be granted in
    respect of vehicles that were first registered (or, in the case of imported vehicles,
    manufactured) more than 5 years prior to the date that the application was made.
    From the date that the policy is introduced, licences will not normally be renewed in
    respect of any licensed vehicle that was first registered (or, in the case of imported
    vehicles, manufactured) more than 10 years prior to the date of renewal (or 12 years in
    the case of purpose-built wheelchair accessible vehicles). This applies to the renewal of
    licences only.
    http://www.rotherham.gov.uk/downloads/file/2482/appendix_i_-_vehicle_age_and_emissions_policy

  6. reg reader says:

    This gives a bit more detail
    http://www.barnardos.org.uk/news/Taxi-regulation-will-protect-children/press_releases.htm?ref=116643
    … certainly sufficient for someone to follow-up what was finally decided would become law.
    RR

  7. Colin Tawn says:

    @rr
    I agree there is more detail in the link you provided but it still doesn’t address the concerns I have about enforcing the use of taxi CCTV. What if for example, a young girl is picked up in daylight hours or early evenings?
    I am not suggesting taxi drivers will not use CCTV to protect both their passengers and themselves from accusations of inappropriate behaviour but I am saying there is, AFAIK no legal authority to force the use of CCTV in taxis when they are driven in daylight hours.

    • reg reader says:

      What the bill says is simply:
      “145 Licensing functions under taxi and PHV legislation: protection of children
      and vulnerable adults
      (1) The Secretary of State may issue guidance to public authorities as to how their
      licensing functions under taxi and private hire vehicle legislation may be
      exercised so as to protect children, and vulnerable individuals who are 18 or
      over, from harm.
      (2) The Secretary of State may revise any guidance issued under this section.
      (3) The Secretary of State must arrange for any guidance issued under this section,
      and any revision of it, to be published.
      (4) Any public authority which has licensing functions under taxi and private hire
      vehicle legislation must have regard to any guidance issued under this section ….”
      http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/lbill/2016-2017/0055/17055.pdf

      So until we see the guidance …………….??

  8. Colin Tawn says:

    That is the problem: It is guidance not legislation.

  9. poetmorgan says:

    So called contracts compliance was like this. In practice we were just issueing forms for box tickers to tick.

  10. Colin Tawn. says:

    ‘Before a vehicle is licensed it must pass an MOT test carried out by an approved testing station. On new registration to us the vehicle should be less than 5 years old and should have done less than 60,000 miles. There are limited exceptions to this ruling may be determined by authorised officers using delegated authority.’

    http://www.west-norfolk.gov.uk/default.aspx?page=22259

    I cannot fault their approach to licensing a PHV.

  11. malcontent says:

    Of course all Pakistani taxi drivers are not to blame, but Professor Alexis Jay’s report detailed how girls as young as 11 were raped, trafficked, abducted, beaten, and intimidated, “predominantly by men of Pakistani-heritage.”

    • Colin Tawn. says:

      @malcontent.
      The issue I have with the comment from Anonymous4 is “a total ban on Pakistani drivers.”
      If he/she had qualified the statement by adding “……..ban on ROTHERHAM Pakistani drivers” the comments would have made more sense and been in context.

      I also think ‘malcontents’ comments missed out any connection with or to Rotherham, the town which is the focus of the Jay report.

      I’m not a pedant by nature BTW.

  12. reg reader says:

    What percentage of Rotherham licenced Taxi/PSV are registered to people of Pakistan/Kashmiri origin?
    In tota,l how many vehicles are licenced.?

    Anybody know?

  13. Anonymous 4 says:

    I couldn’t give a monkey’s about those Pakistani drivers who are innocent….as a section of society they are all tainted by CSE. ..and those “innocent” drivers certainly kept quiet .
    Though it’s a non starter, banning all Pakistanis drivers would certainly cramp their style but no doubt they’d find other outlets for their pervertions.

  14. Pingback: Top ten last week June 25th | Rotherham Politics

  15. malcontent says:

    Jeffery Smith:” So as the vast majority of sex abuse nationally is perpetrated by white men what to do?” Yes that’s true, but the white, male population is definitely not targeting young Pakistani heritage girls to abuse them. Race as well as vulnerability as played a part in this.

    • R. Wilde says:

      Jeffrey Smiths point is just another strawman. It is hardly surprising that the majority of sexual abuse commited in Britain is commited by white men when you consider that over 90% of people living here are white. What Jeffrey fails (consistently) to acknowledge is that the overwhelming majority of GANG BASED sexual abuse is commited by a group of males from a community that only makes up about 3% of the population.

      What he also fails to acknowledge is that, aside from the rich and famous, when white males are discovered to be paedophiles or sex abusers, the authorities seem to have no trouble prosecuting them.

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