Enforce cab rules for safety of public says GMB
GMB call for strict enforcement of licensing standards to protect public after rise in sexual offences in London private hire
There is now an urgent need for the Mayor to order TFL to examine all of these cases to establish the extent to which the failure to enforce standards has contributed to these offences says GMB London
GMB, the union for private hire drivers, commented on the report that a total of 294 sexual offences by taxi and private hire drivers in London were recorded by police in 2018. See notes to editors below for a copy of the report on Press Association.
Steve Garelick, GMB regional officer for the private hire industry, said
“These figures are serious and abhorrent and horrifyingly they are on the rise.
“It is the responsibility of licencing authorities to make sure anyone found guilty of these awful crimes can never operate a private hire vehicle again.
“These figures above all are a clear reminder why has GMB campaigned for strict licensing standards and enforcement of them for cab operators, cars and drivers to protect the travelling public. Enforcement of these standards are the only way to protect the public.
“There is now an urgent need for the Mayor to order TFL to examine all of these cases to establish the extent to which the failure to enforce standards has contributed to these offences.
“Action has to be taken against those responsible, including cab operators, not following and enforcing licensing standards.
“GMB remains committed to engaging with licensing authorities and user groups as well as members to achieve safety for all."
Contact: Steve Garelick Regional Organiser DD Office: 0208 457 4132 | Mob: 07967 763980 www.gmb.org.uk E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
Story on Press Association
NEARLY 300 SEXUAL OFFENCES BY LONDON TAXI AND MINICAB DRIVERS RECORDED IN YEAR
31 Jan 2020 - 10:18
By Neil Lancefield, PA Transport Correspondent
A total of 294 sexual offences by taxi and private hire drivers in London were recorded by police in 2018.
This includes 25 rapes and 269 other sexual offences, which were mainly sexual assaults such as intentional sexual touching without consent.
Some 21 offences led to a driver being charged, with nine convictions, seven resulting in not guilty verdicts and five awaiting trial.
The Metropolitan Police and City of London Police data was published by Transport for London (TfL), which licenses taxi and private hire drivers in the capital.
The total of 294 sexual offences in 2018 represents an 81% increase compared with 2017.
TfL said this was a result of new guidance it issued to private hire operators in late 2017, which stressed the importance of reporting criminal conduct to police immediately. Its head of transport policing and community safety, Mandy McGregor, said: "We expect the highest standards of behaviour and any sexual behaviour by a licensed driver towards a passenger is completely unacceptable.
"We would urge anyone who experiences this to report it immediately to TfL and the police so it can be taken seriously and investigated."
A total of 11 Uber drivers were charged with sexual offences in 2018.
The ride hailing app firm's application for a new London operating licence was rejected by TfL in November last year due to safety concerns. TfL said at least 14,000 trips were made with drivers who were not the ones shown on the app. Uber has been allowed to continue operating pending its appeal against the decision. TfL's previous refusal to renew the company's licence in September 2017 was later overturned by a judge. Uber's UK and Ireland general manager Melinda Roylett said: "There is nothing more important than the safety of the riders and drivers who use the Uber app. "Since 2018, Uber is the only operator TfL has required to report every serious incident to the Metropolitan Police and the new statistics reflect that requirement."