Convictions Policy for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Drivers

Information about our Convictions Policy for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Drivers.

Motoring offences

1.Major Traffic Offences

An application will normally be refused where an applicant has a conviction for a major traffic offence where the conviction is less than three years prior to the date of the application.

An application from an applicant with more than one Major Traffic Offence, within the last five years will normally be refused.If any conviction for a Major Traffic Offence results in a disqualification, applicants should refer to the section of these guidelines entitled "disqualification".

For the purposes of these guidelines the following motoring offences are classed as 'Major Traffic Offences':

AC10 - Failing to stop after an accident

AC20 - Failing to give particulars or to report within 24 hours

AC30 - Undefined accident offences

BA10 - Driving while disqualified by order of Court

BA30 - Attempting to drive while disqualified by order of Court

CD40 - Causing death through careless driving when unfit through drink

CD50 - Causing death through careless driving when unfit through drugs

CD60 - Causing death through careless driving with alcohol level above limit

CD70 - Causing death through careless driving then failing to supply a specimen for alcohol analysis

CD71 - Causing death through careless driving then failing to supply a specimen for drug analysis

DD40 - Dangerous driving

DD60 - Manslaughter or culpable homicide while driving a vehicle

DD80 - Causing death by dangerous driving

DR10 - Driving or attempting to drive with alcohol level above limit

DR20 - Driving or attempting to drive while unfit through drink

DR30 - Driving or attempting to drive then failing to supply a specimen for analysis

DR31 - Driving or attempting to drive when unfit through drugs

DR40 - In charge of a vehicle while alcohol level above limit

DR50 - In charge of a vehicle while unfit through drink

DR60 - Failure to provide specimen for analysis in circumstances other than driving/attempting to drive

DR61 - Failure to provide specimen for drug analysis in circumstances other than driving/attempting to drive

DR70 - Failing to provide specimen for breath testDR80Driving or attempting to drive when unfit through drugs

DR90 - In charge of a vehicle when unfit through drugs

IN10 - Using a vehicle uninsured against third party risks

LC20 - Driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence

LC30 - Driving after making a false declaration about fitness when applying for a licence

LC40 - Driving a vehicle having failed to notify a disability

LC50 - Driving after a licence has been revoked or refused on medical grounds

MS50 - Motor racing on the highway

MS60 - Offences not covered by other codes

MS90 - Failure to give information as to identity of driver etc

UT50 - Aggravated taking of a vehicle

Aiding, Abetting, Counselling or Procuring

Offences as coded above, but with 0 changed to 2 (eg. IN10 becomes IN12).

Causing or Permitting

Offences as coded above, but with 0 changed to 4 (eg. IN10 becomes IN14).

Inciting

Offences as coded above, but with 0 changed to 6, (eg. IN10 becomes IN16) or similar offences or offences which replace the above offences.

Intermediate Traffic Offences

Any Intermediate Traffic Offence, which has attracted four or more penalty points, will be treated as though it were a Major Traffic Offence.

One Conviction

Where an applicant has a single Intermediate Traffic Offence within the 12 months immediately preceding the date of application, they will normally be expected to show a period of at least six months free from conviction before an application is considered.

For existing licence-holders where they hold no other driving convictions within a two year period prior to receiving an intermediate traffic offence and do not have a history of frequent motoring convictions, then a written warning may be issued.

Two or more Convictions

Where an applicant has two or more Intermediate Traffic Offences in the 12 months immediately preceding the date of application, the applicant will normally be expected to show a period of at least 12 months free from conviction before an application is considered. If any conviction for an Intermediate Traffic Offence results in a disqualification, applicants should refer to the section of these guidelines entitled "disqualification".

CU10 - Using vehicle with defective brakes

CU20 - Causing or likely to cause danger by reason of use of unsuitable vehicle or using a vehicle with parts of accessories (excluding brakes, steering or tyres) in a dangerous condition

CU30 - Using a vehicle with defective tyres

CU40 - Using a vehicle with defective steering

CU50 - Causing or likely to cause danger by reason or load passengers

CU80 - Breach of requirements as to control of the vehicle mobile phones etc

CD10 - Driving without due care and attention

CD20 - Driving without reasonable consideration for other road users

CD30 - Driving without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration of other road users

SP10 - Exceeding goods vehicle speed limit

SP20 Exceeding speed limit for type of vehicle (excluding goods or passenger vehicles)

SP30 - Exceeding statutory speed limit on a public road

SP40 - Exceeding passenger vehicle speed limit

SP50 - Exceeding speed limit on a motorway

SP60 - Exceeding speed limit offence

Aiding, Abetting, Counselling or Procuring

Offences as coded above, but with 0 changed to 2, (eg. CU10 becomes CU12).

Causing or Permitting

Offences as coded above, but with 0 changed to 4, (eg. CU10 becomes CU14).

Inciting

Offences as coded above, but with 0 changed to 6, (eg. CU10 becomes CU16), or similar offences or offences which replace the above offences.

2. Minor Traffic Offences

Any Minor Traffic Offence which has attracted four or more penalty points will be treated as though it were an Intermediate Traffic Offence.

Single conviction

Where an applicant has a single Minor Traffic Offence in the 12 months immediately preceding the date of application, the application will normally be granted with a letter of warning being placed on the file.

For existing licence-holders where they hold no other driving convictions within a 2 year period prior to receiving an intermediate traffic offence and do not have a history of frequent motoring convictions, then a written warning may be issued.

Two or more Convictions

Where an applicant has two or more Minor Traffic Offences in the 12 months immediately preceding the date of application, an applicant will normally be expected to show a period of at least six months free from conviction before an application is considered.

For the purposes of these guidelines the following motoring offences are classed as 'Minor Traffic Offences':

MS10 - Leaving a vehicle in a dangerous position

MS20 - Unlawful pillion riding

MS30 - Play street offences

MS70 - Driving with uncorrected defective eyesight

MS80 - Refusing to submit to an eyesight test

MW10 - Contravention of Special Road Regulations (excluding speed limits)

PC10 - Undefined contravention of Pedestrian Crossing Regulations

PC20 - Contravention of Pedestrian Crossing Regulations with moving vehicle

PC30 - Contravention of Pedestrian Crossing Regulations with stationary vehicles

TS10 - Failing to comply with traffic light signalsTS20Failing to comply with double white lines

TS30 - Failing to comply with a "Stop" sign

TS40 - Failing to comply with direction of a constable or traffic warden

TS50 - Failing to comply with traffic sign (excluding "Stop" sign, traffic lights or double white lines)

TS60 - Failing to comply with school crossing patrol sign

TS70 - Undefined failure to comply with a traffic direction sign

Aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring

Offences as coded above, but with 0 changed to 2, (eg PC10 becomes PC12).

Causing or permitting

Offences as coded above, but with 0 changed to 4, (eg PC10 becomes PC14).

Inciting

Offences as coded above, but with 0 changed to 6, (eg PC10 becomes PC16),or similar offences or offences which replace the above offences.

Plying for Hire

In the case of a Private Hire Driver found guilty of an offence of plying for hire,the Committee would normally order the licence to be revoked or suspended.This may also include the recommendation for a prosecution for/of driving without insurance.

Multiple convictions

Where an applicant has multiple convictions arising from a single incident, the convictions will generally be treated as one conviction for the purposes of these guidelines.

In these circumstances, the period for which the applicant would normally be expected to show free from conviction will be the longest applicable period calculated by reference to each offence.

Spent convictions

By virtue of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, (Exemptions/Amendment)Order 2002, taxi drivers are an exempted occupation for the purposes of the 1974 Act.

The Council will only consider spent convictions if it appears to be irrelevant for deciding whether the applicant is a fit and proper person to hold a licence and that justice cannot be done in the case, except by admitting or requiring evidence relating to that spent conviction.

Relevance of Convictions and Cautions

As part of the application process all applicants for a driver's licence are required to disclose on their application form, all convictions and cautions, (motoring or otherwise), regardless of whether or not they would be deemed as spent under the Rehabilitation or Offenders Act 1974.

Applicants should be aware that the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 as amended identifies the occupations of hackney carriage/private hire drivers as "exempt" occupations. The effect of which is that no convictions are ever deemed "spent", irrespective of the date of the conviction/caution or the nature of the offence. Therefore, they will always be disclosed and considered as part of the application process.

It is an offence under both the Local Government, (Miscellaneous Provisions-) Act 1976, and the Frauds Act 2001 to make a false statement and/or provide false information during the application process. This includes not disclosing details of any convictions or cautions.

If an applicant is in any doubt as to whether or not a licence will be granted, contact should be made with the Hackney Carriage Office BEFORE incurring any expense. Advice will be given in confidence in light of information provided.

If an applicant declares in his application a conviction involving for example, dishonesty, indecency, violence or a disqualification from driving or numerous offences of a similar nature, then a licence may not be issued immediately and could be subject to further checks.

In cases where a DBS check reveals that an applicant has convictions, the application will be dealt with in accordance with the Council's guidance on convictions.

In assessing whether an applicant is a 'fit and proper person' to hold a licence, the Council will consider each case on its own merits. In doing this, the Council will take account of cautions and convictions, but only in so far as they are relevant to an application for a licence. Upon receipt of a disclosure from the DBS, officers acting under delegated powers will assess whether any cautions or convictions are capable of having relevance to the issue of whether or not an applicant is a 'fit and proper person' to hold a licence.

Drunkenness

With a motor vehicle (No Disqualification)

A serious view will be taken regarding convictions of driving or being in charge of a vehicle while under the influence of drink.

An application will normally be refused where the applicant has a conviction, which doe snot result in disqualification, for an offence within two years of the date of the application.

More than one conviction for this type of offence, within the last five years of the date of conviction is likely to merit refusal.

  (i)With a motor vehicle (Disqualification)

Where a disqualification has occurred as a result of a drink-driving offence, at least five years free from conviction should normally elapse from the date of the restoration of the DVLA licence before an applicant is considered for a licence.

In addition, applicants will normally be required to show a period of at least five years has elapsed after completion of detoxification treatment if they were an alcoholic.

  (ii)Not in a motor vehicle

An isolated conviction for drunkenness need not debar an applicant from gaining a licence. In some cases, a warning may be appropriate. More than one conviction for drunkenness could indicate a medical problem necessitating critical examination and refusal of a licence.

In addition, applicants will generally be required to show a period of at least five years has elapsed after completion of detoxification treatment if they were an alcoholic. 24

 

The risks associated with poor standards

The main purpose of the licensing regime is to prevent licences being given to, or used by, unsuitable people taking into account their driving record, mental and physical fitness to drive, their honesty and to ensure that they would not take advantage of their position as drivers, to abuse or assault the public who use their vehicles.

The key risks arising may be perceived as:

  • Dangerous vehicles - either to passengers, drivers or other road users;
  • Dangerous drivers - both from their actual driving, but also from verbal and physical abuse to the passengers, other road users and the public;
  • Opportunity for petty crime and criminality such as overcharging, thefts;
  • More serious and organised crime such as Child Sexual Exploitation, drug trafficking and even terrorism;
  • Negative impact on the borough, often a taxi driver is the first and last person a visitor will meet when entering or leaving the borough;
  • Pollution from poorly maintained or defective vehicles and older vehicles still on the road with less efficient engines

Drugs

An application will normally be refused where the applicant has a conviction for an offence related to the supply of drugs and the conviction is less than 5-10 years prior to the date of application.

After five years consideration will be given to the circumstances of the offence and any evidence demonstrating that the person is now a fit and proper person to hold a licence.

An application will normally be refused where the applicant has more than one conviction for offences related to the possession of drugs and the convictions are less than five years prior to the date of the application.

An application from an applicant who has an isolated conviction for an offence related to the possession of drugs within the last four years will require careful consideration of the facts.

If any applicant was an addict then they will normally be required to show evidence of five years free from drug taking after detoxification treatment.

Sexual and indecency

Any applicant currently on the Sex Offenders Register would not normally be granted a licence.

  1. Offences against Children (under 14 years) and Young Persons (aged 14 to 17 years)

Drivers of hackney carriage and private hire vehicle are often entrusted with the care of children and young persons. It is comparatively easy for an unscrupulous driver to take advantage of such vulnerable persons. Where the commission of a sexual offence involves a child or young person an application for a licence will normally to be refused.

  2. Offences against persons other than children/young persons

As Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicle drivers often carry unaccompanied passengers, applicants with a conviction for rape, indecent assault, or other similar offences or similar offences under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, will normally be refused a licence.

Applicants with a conviction relating to sexual offences such as soliciting, importuning, indecent exposure or other similar offences or similar offences under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, will normally be refused a licence until they can show a substantial period, (usually between 5 and 10 years) free from any such conviction.

After five years, consideration will be given to the circumstances of the offence and any evidence demonstrating that the person is now a fit and proper person to hold a licence.

Violence

Offences against Children (under 14 years) and Young Persons (aged 14 to 17years)

Drivers of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicles are often entrusted with the care of children and young persons.

It is comparatively easy for an unscrupulous driver to take advantage of such vulnerable persons.

The Council seeks to minimise risks associated with children and young persons, and for that reason a more serious view will be taken where offences of violence involve children or young persons.

Where the commission of an offence involves loss of life, a licence will normally be refused. In other cases a period of 5 to 10 years free of conviction for offences involving violence, (depending on the nature and seriousness of the offence), will generally be required before an application is likely to be considered favourably.

Offences against other persons

As Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicle drivers maintain close contact with the public, where the commission of an offence involved loss of life, a licence will normally be refused. In other cases a period of 3 to 10 years free of conviction for offences involving violence, (depending on the nature and seriousness of the offence), will generally be required before an application is likely to be considered favourably.

In particular:

(i) An application will normally be refused where the applicant has a conviction for an offence or similar offence(s), which replace the below offences:

Murder;

Manslaughter;

Manslaughter or culpable homicide while driving.

(ii) An application will also normally be refused where the applicant has a conviction for an offence or similar offence(s) which replace the below offences and the conviction is less than 10 years prior to the date of application:

  • Arson
  • Malicious wounding or grievous bodily harm, (s.20 Offences Against the Person Act 1861) which is racially aggravated, (s.29(1)(a) Crime and Disorder Act 1998)
  • Actual bodily harm, (s.47 Offences Against the Person Act 1861), which is racially aggravated, (s.29(1)(b) Crime and Disorder Act 1998);
  • Grievous bodily harm with intent, (s.18 Offences Against the Person Act)
  • Grievous bodily harm without intent, (s.20 Offences Against the Person Act)
  • Robbery
  • Possession of firearm
  • Riot
  • Assault Police
  • Common assault with racially aggravated, (s.29(1)(c), Crime and Disorder Act 1998)
  • Violent disorder
  • Resisting arrest.

(iii) An application will also normally be refused where the applicant has a conviction for an offence or similar     offence(s) which replace the below offences and the conviction is less than five years prior to the date of  application:

  • Racially-aggravated criminal damage, (s.30 Crime and Disorder Act 1998);
  • Racially-aggravated s.4 Public Order Act 1986 offence, (fear of provocation of violence) (s.31(1)(a) Crime and Disorder Act 1998);
  • Racially-aggravated s.4A Public Order Act 1986 offence, (intentional harassment, alarm or distress (s.31(1)(b) Crime and Disorder Act 1998);
  • Racially-aggravated s.2 Protection from Harassment Act 1997 offence (harassment) (s.32(1)(a) Crime and Disorder Act 1998);
  • Racially-aggravated s.4 Protection from Harassment Act 1997 offence (putting people in fear of violence) (s.32(1)(b) Crime and Disorder Act 1998);
  • Racially-aggravated s.5 Public Order Act 1986 offence, (harassment, alarm or distress) (s.31(1)(c) Crime and Disorder Act 1998).

(iiii) An application will also normally be refused where the applicant has a conviction for an offence or similar offence(s) which replace the below offences and the conviction is less than three years prior to the date of application:

  • Common assault
  • Assault occasioning actual bodily harm (s.47 Offences against the Person Act)
  • Affray
  • S5 Public Order Act 1986 offence (harassment, alarm or distress)
  • S4 Public Order Act 1986 offence (fear of provocation of violence)
  • S4A Public Order Act 1986 offence (intentional harassment, alarm or distress) Obstruction
  • Possession of offensive weapon
  • Criminal damage.

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Published 09/05/2019