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4.1 Where an application is made for a new licence, and the applicant has previously held a hackney carriage or private hire drivers, proprietors or operators licence or on review of an existing licence and relevant convictions have previously been considered in decision making by the Local Authority in connection with any further or existing licence any decision on a new application or on review will normally be made by the employees or Licensing Committee, with reliance only on any relevant convictions or behaviour which have arisen since any previous application or review. However there will be occasions when previously considered convictions or behaviour will be of value and can be referred to in order to indicate a pattern of behaviour which may result in them again being considered in decision making particularly if the conviction(s) is/are of a similar nature to those which have arisen since any previous application or review.

4.2 An applicant or licence holder whose application/licence is subject to a formal review hearing will be advised in writing of the date and time of the meeting. He or she has the right to appear in person at the hearing to give verbal or written information in support of the application/licence and to be represented if required. If the applicant or licence holder fails to attend the review hearing without reasonable excuse, the determination or review may proceed in his or her absence.

4.3 In all cases involving suspension, revocation and refusal to grant or renew the applicant or licence holder has the right to appeal against the decision of the Licensing Committee or the employees through the Magistrates Court.

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4.5 Any person who has been cautioned for an offence will be dealt with using the criteria relating to convictions.

4.6 Decisions will normally be made in accordance with these guidelines, however each case will be decided on its merits. Regard will be had to:

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Dependant on the facts and where deemed appropriate the employees may make a decision contrary to that suggested by the guidelines or where appropriate refer a matter to Councillors of the Licensing Sub-Committee for decision. Where decisions are made which are contrary to the guidelines or where the matter is referred to the Licensing Sub-Committee employees will give reasons for this.

4.7 Any list of offences outlined in section 5.0 of this report, show examples of the type of offence in a particular category. The lists are not exhaustive and offences outside of these examples may be considered by the employees/Committee.

4.8 Hackney carriage and private hire vehicle drivers should be able to communicate satisfactorily in English with customers, in order to be considered a fit and proper person to hold a Licence.

5.0 Determination of Action to be Taken

5.1 In determining the course of action to be taken in connection with an application for a hackney carriage, proprietors or drivers licence, private hire vehicle or driver’s licence, or private hire vehicle operator’s licence or the review of an existing driver’s licence or operator’s licence, or proprietor's licence the following sanctions will be applied as a guide. In all cases where it is possible to calculate two or more different periods of time, the calculation which results in the longer period shall be used or both periods of time may be considered consecutively or concurrently at the discretion of the employees/Councillors.

5.1.1 Minor Traffic Offences The Licensing Committee takes driving offences very seriously, particularly when the applicant displays a pattern of offences.

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5.1.2 "Totting Up" – Section 35 Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 If the total of penalty points reaches 12 or more within 3 years the driver is liable to be disqualified from driving under the “Totting Up” procedure.

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5.1.3 Major Traffic Offences (Other than drink driving and drug offences) A major traffic offence is a road traffic offence (other than for totting and drink driving) that can result in four or more penalty points and/or leave a period of disqualification and/or imprisonment.

For the purpose of these guidelines the following motoring offences are classed as ‘Major Traffic offences’. However this is not an exhaustive list.

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5.1.4 Drink Driving Offences and Driving under the Influence of Drugs Any drink driving or drug related driving offence is treated very seriously by the Local Authority. An offence of this nature is highly relevant to the individual’s role as a hackney carriage or private hire driver.

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5.1.5 Anti-Social Behaviour and Public Order Offences Drivers of hackney carriages and private hire vehicles should display a measured and calming manner in the face of provocation and difficult situations.

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(b) Repeat offences – will normally revoke or refuse to renew. A new licence will not normally be granted for 5 years following the date of conviction.

5.1.6 Drug Related Offences In the case of drivers with convictions for the possession of illegal drugs or other drug related offences (excluding the supply or dealing of drugs, for which there is a separate guideline at 5.1.7), the applicant may be required to satisfy the Local Authority that they are free of addiction subject to a licence being granted.

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5.1.7 Dealing/Supply of Drugs Due to the nature of work carried out in the hackney carriage and private hire industry, a conviction for the supply of drugs is treated very seriously and will normally preclude a licence being issued for a considerable time.

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5.1.8 Indecency Offences Any offence for indecency is treated very seriously as hackney carriage/private hire drivers often work in isolation with members of society.

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5.1.9 Sexual Offences Drivers of hackney carriage and private hire vehicles often work in isolation with members of society.

The Local Authority seeks to minimise risks associated with these persons and for that reason a more serious view will be taken where sexual offences occur.

Decisions relating to the determination of an application or review of an existing licence may be informed by discussions with the Police and/ or Wolverhampton Safeguarding Unit: The Local Authority Designated Employee.

Any offence(s)/conviction(s) of a sexual nature against any person will normally result in revocation or refuse to renew. A new licence will not normally be granted.

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Drivers of hackney carriage and private hire vehicles are expected to be persons of trust. For these reasons a serious view is taken of any offences involving dishonesty.

For the purpose of these guidelines the following offences are classed as ‘Dishonesty’:

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Terrorism means the use or threat of action where designed to influence the Government or an international governmental organisation or to intimidate the public or a section of the public, for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause.

‘Action’ includes serious violence against a person, serious damage to property, endangering a person’s life, other than that of the person committing the action, creating a serious risk to the health or safety of the public or a section of the public, or an act designed to seriously interfere with or seriously to disrupt an electronic system, or the use of firearms or explosives.

This also includes any offence, act or omission linked to a terrorism offence.

A conviction – will normally result in revocation or refusal to renew. A new licence will not normally be granted.

5.1.16 Hate Crime A hate crime is any criminal offence that is motivated by hostility or prejudice based upon the victim’s disability, race, sexual orientation, transgender, religion or belief.

First offence – will normally revoke or refuse to renew. A new licence will not normally be granted for 5 years following the date of conviction.

Repeat offences – will normally revoke or refuse to renew. A new licence will not normally be granted.

5.1.17 Plying for Hire Convictions for plying for hire and related no insurances offences show that a driver is unable to work within the legal restrictions of a private hire/hackney carriage driver’s licence. Offences of this nature generally result in passengers being uninsured during the journey.

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Declarations of criminal and motoring convictions, cautions and fixed penalties are vitally important in order for the Local Authority to review the suitability of licence holders. Failure to declare any of the above can result in unsuitable drivers holding a licence.

(a) First offence – will normally result in a written warning.

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5.1.19 Breach of Licence Conditions / Byelaws Licences are issued with conditions and byelaws, applying to them, this is to ensure that the trade operates in a fair and consistent manner. Breaches of conditions/byelaws can result in poor service to customers. Serious breaches of conditions/byelaws will result in a review. A review will also normally be called where a driver/proprietor has persistently breached conditions, in accordance with Regulatory Services enforcement policy.

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5.1.20 Any other relevant offences (including ‘touting’, using/operating private hire vehicles without a licence, offences under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, Town Police Clauses Act 1847)

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Applicants for hackney carriage and/or private hire drivers licences must satisfy the medical fitness standards issued by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). The agreed standard is the Group 2 Standard for vocational drivers.

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5.1.22 Investigation of Serious Offences (involving violence, sexual offences, etc) Where information is received in relation to an existing licence holder from the Police or other enforcement bodies that an individual(s) are under investigation or have been under investigation for a matter that relates to any of the offences outlined in sections 5.1.1 – 5.1.25, the Local Authority may consider the information provided and take action in relation to the information provided. This may mean a licence is suspended, revoked or a renewal of a licence is refused. The power to suspend or revoke immediately as set out in section 2.2.2 may also be used in these circumstances if it is in the interests of public safety.

5.1.23 Mobile Phones This type of offence is treated very seriously as it increases the likelihood of an accident.

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5.1.25 Conduct of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Drivers, Proprietors and Operators A hackney carriage or private hire drivers badge is a badge of approval, it states the Local Authority feels the holder is fit and proper and suitable in every way. The standard of behaviour and level of trust expected should be demonstrated in the conduct of those licensed at all times.

If the applicant or driver/proprietor/operator licence holders behaviour falls below that expected from a licence holder the following will apply;

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In order to obtain a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Vehicle Driver’s Licence in Wolverhampton you must successfully complete a one day training/knowledge test and practical driving assessment.

To arrange either of these tests you should contact Worcestershire County Council:

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Please ask for Karen Perks who will advise you of the procedure you should follow in order to book your appointment.

The training day and driving assessments will take place within Wolverhampton.

Please Note: To undertake the practical driving assessment, you must have first successfully completed the Council’s one day training/knowledge test. Failure to pass any part of the theoretical test first time will result in an immediate re-test at a cost of £21.00. If the re-test is not passed successfully, you must wait 3 months before taking the course and test again for which the full £75.00 fee will apply. You may not continue until you have successfully passed the test. If you fail on all three occasions your application will become void.

Fees Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Training Day and Knowledge Test costs £75.00 Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Training Day and Knowledge Test re-sit £21.00 Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driving Assessment cost £64.00 Payment Cheques / postal orders should be made payable to Worcestershire County Council and returned together with a colour passport style photograph endorsed by a member of staff from Licensing after printing your name and adding your signature to the reverse of the photograph to:Worcestershire County Council (Driver Training) County Hall Spetchley Road Worcester WR5 2NP NB: Payment by Credit Card facility is available - please contact above telephone number giving Credit Card details.

If you use this method of payment the signed and endorsed photograph must not be sent to Worcestershire County Council but taken and given to the Driving Assessor prior to the driving assessment.

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