Council leaders and safety campaigners have condemned government plans to relax the criminal checks designed to protect passengers from dangerous taxi drivers. Currently, prospective taxi and private car hire drivers must pass an enhanced criminal record bureau (CRB) check, which gathers information from local police records, the Police National Computer, child protection and sex offenders registers. The checks are repeated every three years to satisfy licensing authorities that these drivers do not pose a risk.
Under the Protection of Freedoms Bill, they would only be entitled to a ‘Standard’ CRB check which only includes convictions, cautions and reprimands, and would not show if they were barred from working with children or vulnerable adults. Transport for London, the capital’s licensing authority, rejected 240 drivers between 2002 and 2008 after enhanced checks uncovered incidents of rape, terrorist activities, organised crime and drug dealing. They say these incidents would have been missed by less rigorous checks. Continue reading Taxi Drivers no longer eligible for eCRB
NSPCC research via a freedom of information request to all 43 police forces in England and Wales show that at least 64 children are sexually abused every day in England and Wales.
More than 23,000 offences – including rape, incest and gross indecency – were recorded by police in 2009-10, an 8% increase on 2008-9, the charity said. The figures showed that more than half of the victims were aged between 12 and 15, one in four was aged five to 11, and more than 1,000 were aged four or younger. Girls were more than six times more likely to be assaulted than boys, with 86% of attacks taking place against females, the figures showed.
The UK Supreme Court has ruled that lifelong monitoring on the UK’s sex offenders register is a disproportionate interference in the offender’s family lives and have granted two convicted sex offenders the right to challenge their inclusion on it. The case paves the way for other offenders to seek to have their details removed.
Offenders are placed on the register for life if they are sentenced to 30 months or more in jail, and once released have to notify police about where they are living and what name they are using. There are some 32,000 registered sex offenders in England and Wales and approximately half of them received sentences leading to lifelong monitoring. Continue reading Sex offenders register challenged