Sex offenders among those who applied for taxi licences in Burton and South Derbyshire

PAEDOPHILES, burglars and a kidnapper were among those who applied to become taxi drivers across East Staffordshire and South Derbyshire.

Figures from the Disclosure and Barring Service show that between 2012 and 2015, 2,890 disclosure orders were applied for.

Anyone applying to become a licence holder of a private hire vehicle or a hackney carriage must have a check carried out by the DBS which they must present as part of their application.

From the applications made, more than 17 per cent were found to have a conviction; 514 applicants in total with 2,003 convictions, cautions or reprimands between them.

Offences include indecent assault on a female under the age of 14, sexual intercourse with a female under the age of 16 and kidnapping.

There was also a host of driving offences including not wearing a seatbelt and driving while disqualified.

Policies from East Staffordshire Borough Council and South Derbyshire District Council mirror one another with major offences such as sexual assault or violence leaving it ‘unlikely’ that a licence will be accepted.

A spokesman from South Derbyshire District Council said: “Our main priority is protecting the public and making South Derbyshire a safe place to be. A full DBS check is required for all new drivers applying to us for a licence and the law requires that this check must be renewed every three years. Drivers are required to notify us of any new convictions they may have.

“The council’s policy is that when anyone with a previous criminal conviction applies for a private hire licence, the case is referred to the Licensing and Appeals Sub-Committee.

“Our private hire licensing policy, which can be viewed on our website, is then applied in each individual case to inform prior to any decision made.”

The DBS is not able to state whether any of the individuals were employed as that decision is down to the local authority.

A spokesman from East Staffordshire Borough Council said: “Following the appropriate legislation the general licensing committee consider whether the applicant is a fit and proper person.

“Each case must be dealt with on its own merits. The committee follow Home Office guidance for particular offences and periods free from conviction will be taken into account.

“The principal objective for the licensing authority is the safety and protection of the public.”

Read more: Burton Mail