Agenda item

Complaint against the holder of a Private Hire Driver's Licence - HS

To consider whether the driver is ‘fit and proper’ following on from an investigation by the Neighbourhood Enforcement Team, as a result of a complaint received from a member of the public.

Minutes:

HS was in attendance, accompanied by an Interpreter. The Complainant and her husband were also in attendance

 

The Chair explained the procedure that would be followed and everyone introduced themselves.

 

The Neighbourhood Enforcement Officer introduced the report and summarised it for everyone. She also drew attention to the statements from the Complainant, her husband and HS.

 

The Complainant confirmed what was in her statement. She had left Henbury Leisure Centre and was on her way to ASDA. As a new driver who only passed her test in September 2017, she is still cautious. All the words that she quoted in her statement are correct and were used. She had not slept well the previous night as she had been revisiting the incident.

 

Her husband confirmed that she had been anxious.

 

HS put the case and answered questions highlighting the following:

 

·                     He stood by everything in his statement

·                     He was in the Bus Lane when he had to brake hard to avoid a collision

·                     He denied using any foul language

·                     The Complainant was in the wrong lane

·                     He has worked as a taxi driver for 5 to 6 years; he was previously a delivery driver

·                     He has never got out of his car before and it was a mistake to do so on this occasion

·                     He did not use any the language that the Complainant has quoted; he only asked her why she had blown her horn and why she was recording on her ‘phone (It was established that the Complainant was not recording only taking photos.)

·                     He had removed the taxi plates from his car as he was angry the Complainant was taking photos

·                     He did not consider the fact that the Complainant was a woman made any difference to his actions

·                     He summed up his case and apologised for getting out of his car

 

The Neighbourhood Enforcement Officer, HS, the Interpreter, the Complainant and her husband left the room whilst the Committee made its decision.

 

Decision

 

The Members considered very carefully all of the written and verbal evidence presented to them.

The Members had 2 versions of events to consider and found the Complainant to be more credible as she had nothing to gain by lying.

The Members felt that a taxi driver should have a higher level of self-control than other drivers and would not expect a taxi driver to behave in this way.

From what the Complainant had described, this was a common assault or section 4 Public Order Act offence.

The Members noted that their Policy on criminal offending stated that a licence would not normally be granted within 5 years of conviction for either offence.

HS was not able to convince the members that he was a fit and proper person to hold a Private Hire Driver’s Licence. He was invited to seek assistance with his anger management issues.

Members agreed to suspend the Licence held by HS for a period 4 months.

Everyone returned to the room to hear the decision announced.

 

Resolved – that the Private Hire Driver’s Licences held by HS be suspended for a period of 4 months.