Private Hire Driver’s appeal dismissed

07th March 2019

A male applicant who had his Private Hire Driver’s Licence refused by Three Rivers District Council after failing to disclose involvement with the Police from 2010 has lost his appeal after it was dismissed by St Albans Magistrates.

The applicant appealed the decision of the Lead Licensing Officer, Lorna Fryer, after a Police check disclosed the applicant’s history.

During the stringent application process individuals are required to provide enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificates which on this occasion did not provide any evidence of criminal activity. However, on conducting further checks with Hertfordshire Constabulary, the Lead Licensing Officer was made aware of involvement with Police dating back to 2010 which the applicant failed to disclose on his application. His application was therefore refused for failing to provide all the information that was requested.

In dismissing the appeal the Magistrates stated, “We have listened carefully to the Council and the Appellant. The first function is to consider whether the Licensing Officer’s decision was wrong. The application form is clear about what you need to disclose and you didn't disclose that information. You say it was simply a mistake. In our view the onus is clearly on you to understand and complete the application with all relevant details. It is not acceptable to say the incidents happened some time ago or other forms did not ask for the same information. We therefore conclude the Council is not wrong. Appeal dismissed.”

The Appellant was also ordered to pay the Council’s costs of £1370.

Councillor Steve Drury, Chair of Licensing Committee said: Drivers of Private Hire and Hackney Carriage vehicles are expected to be persons of trust and when deciding whether an individual is ‘fit and proper’ or ‘safe and suitable’ the licensing officer’s overriding consideration is the safety of the public. 

“The Council will consider many factors in assessing an application under its Suitability Policy. This can include any information from the Police, even if an individual has not been charged or arrested and no further action was taken by the Police, as such additional information can show a pattern of behaviour.

“This appeal should set an example to all existing and new drivers that they must fully read and adhere to the relevant policies and application forms otherwise they risk having their application refused.”