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Driving offences: Record number of complaints relating to offences by Leeds taxi drivers

Leeds County Council has revoked several licences following a large number of complaints about the city's taxi drivers, reports the BBC.

Fourteen taxi drivers in Leeds have had their licences revoked following a record number of complaints. Since the beginning of this year, there have been some 225 complaints made about taxi drivers in the city regarding their 'driving standards and inappropriate behaviour'.

Every council has the power to revoke a taxi driver's licence with immediate effect if there is concern for passenger safety, thanks to Section 52 of the Road Safety Act 2006.

The revocation of the 14 licences was based upon an unacceptable range of sexual, violent and driving offences. Five of these related to allegations against the driver for sexual advances and misconduct and one for violent behaviour.

Having issued more than 10,000 licences to taxi drivers this year already, the City Council will perhaps take further measures in scrutinising applications in the future. This is particularly important when it has been revealed that at least one of the revocations was based upon a driver failing to disclose any previous convictions.

Reporting on the case, the BBC observed that: "Of the 225 complaints made against taxi drivers, 67 of those were about their driving standards, 32 were related to inappropriate behaviour, 27 were about the cab operator and 25 were about cabbies being a nuisance with parking. There were also 17 complaints about drivers breaching their licence conditions, thirteen related to plying for hire, twelve for over-charging passengers, ten about criminal behaviour and five for being rude."

Leeds City Council is embarrassed by this issue and by the necessary actions that have subsequently been taken against the drivers concerned. The Council wishes to reassure city inhabitants and hopes that the actions they have taken demonstrate their commitment to the safety and wellbeing of the people of Leeds. Acknowledging the serious failings of the drivers, the Chair of Leeds County Council's licensing committee assured the public that they take these allegations 'very seriously', especially as the drivers are in a position of trust and the above complaints and accusations illustrate consistent abuse of that trust.