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Paedophiles and rapists apply for taxi driver licences.

RAPISTS, paedophiles and an attempted murderer are among those who have applied to be taxi drivers in the West Midlands.

And despite convictions for sexual offences, assault, wounding and motoring offences, drivers with previous convictions have been handed licences by councils.

Among previous convictions revealed through the Disclosure and Barring Service for people applying for taxi licences were three rapes.

They were a conviction for sex with a girl aged under 13 in Birmingham and two convictions for rape in Sandwell.

Across Birmingham, there were 22 convictions for indecent assault on women aged 16 and over, and six indecent assaults on girls aged under 14.

Remarkably, one applicant from Solihull had a conviction for attempted murder, while another in Birmingham had a conviction for culpable homicide. There were also two convictions in Birmingham for manslaughter, and 13 for kidnapping in and around Birmingham.

Others revealed include attempted kidnapping, conspiracy to kidnap, causing death by reckless driving - and no fewer than 53 previous convictions for dangerous driving. Across all local authorities in the West Midlands, those applying for taxi licences between April 2012 and March 2015 had 520 previous convictions for assault occasioning actual bodily harm, 863 for having no motor insurance, 371 for driving while disqualified and 245 for driving while over the limit.

Birmingham City Council said: "Around 6,250 private hire and Hackney Carriage licences are issued every year, so the 31 files included in this response represent less than half a per cent (0.49%) of drivers licensed by Birmingham City Council during the period this request covers. Birmingham City Council will only grant, renew or allow a person to hold a driver's licence if it is satisfied that the person is a 'fit and proper' person. To enable this to be determined all new applications (and renewals) must complete an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check.

"The disclosure of a criminal record or other relevant information will not necessarily disbar a person from obtaining or holding a 'taxi' driver's licence unless the council considers the nature of the convictions to render them unfit."

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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 8, 2017
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