The Licence Holder and his sister were in attendance.
The Neighbourhood Enforcement Officer outlined the background to the case as follows:
· The Licence Holder had held a licence since 2014;
· PC Quinton had stopped the driver at Bristol Temple Meads to question him about not wearing a seatbelt;
· The Licence Holder had refused to provide PC Quinton with his Driver’s Licence; Certificate of Insurance, date of birth (an offence under s164
· Road Traffic Act 1988) and address;
· In 2018, a complaint had been received about the Licence Holder’s front plate being incorrectly displayed;
· PC Quinton had asked to inspect the vehicle for inspection and the Licence Holder had informed him that the vehicle had been damaged in an accident, but the Council had not been notified which was a breach of the conditions of the Licence.
In response to a question, it was confirmed that PC Quinton had run a check on the PHD and confirmed that his documentation was in order.
PC Quinton confirmed the details of his report and stated that prosecution action was not taken as it was not in the public interest to do so, but the driver had received a penalty notice for not wearing a seatbelt.
The Licence Holder’s sister made the following points in support of his application:
· He had driven into Temple Meads to drop off a passenger and had helped them take the luggage out of the vehicle;
· He had been pulled over by PC Quinton about not wearing a seatbelt, but it was his understanding, on reading the Government website, that licensed taxi drivers did not have to wear a seatbelt;
· The advice on the Government website was confusing and it was understandable that he had concluded that he didn’t need to wear a seatbelt based on this advice;
· He had tried to explain this to PC Quinton, who informed him that this was not correct and had asked to see his documents;
· He didn’t have documents in the vehicle as many of them were in electronic form;
· PC Quinton had taken the keys out of the ignition;
· He did not refuse to cooperate he just didn’t have the information available at the time;
· In relation to his previous history: he had displayed his plates in the window as he had previously had a problem with someone stealing them;
· She was concerned about the email/photograph and how personal information was being used by Bristol City Council;
· He had been happy for his vehicle to be inspected, but the vehicle was subsequently involved in an accident;
· He didn’t know that the accident had to be reported to the Council within 24 hours and he had complied once he did know.
· She confirmed that he was sorry for the incident, and he was of good character and not a threat to the public;
· Given more time she would have been able to provide character references to support her brother;
· Her brother was involved in an incident with police officers 8 years ago which had left him feeling mistrustful of police officers which explained his lack of compliance on this occasion.
In response to questioning, PC Quinton confirmed:
· That it was normal practice for drivers to display their documents on a phone rather than provide a hard copy;
· That he had removed the keys from the vehicle until he had clarified that the driver had insurance.
In response to questioning, the Neighbourhood Enforcement Officer confirmed that the email/photograph had been provided by an off duty licensing officer;
The committee were shown body camera evidence of the start of the incident.
At this point in the meeting, the Licence Holder, his sister, PC Quinton and the Neighbourhood Enforcement Officer withdrew while the Committee considered the application and subsequently returned to hear the decision.
RESOLVED – that no action be taken in relation to the Private Hire Driver on this occasion but that the Licence Holder be given a heavy warning and be advised in future to comply with officers and to read the conditions of his licence and be advised that if he were to come to the attention of the Committee in future, he may not be considered so leniently.