PLANS to change taxi drivers’ criminal records checks will put passengers at risk, a councillor has claimed.
Councillor Howard Allen (Green, Shirley West) said he was concerned about proposals to “water down” checks.
At present, prospective taxi and private hire drivers must pass an enhanced CRB check, repeated every three years.
But the Government has issued guidance which could reduce the number of checks, to the horror of many safety campaigners.
It has suggested to licensing authorities, such as Solihull Council, that only a standard CRB check was necessary.
Coun Allen said: “It is about protecting people in specific circumstances from the risk of robbery, assault or worse.
“When someone gets into a taxi or minicab late at night, they are effectively putting their faith in the checks made.”
Solihull MP Lorely Burt said: “Obviously it’s impossible to totally remove the risk, no matter what the legislation.
“But we need to take special care to ensure that taxi passengers are protected.”
The Home Office issued the guidance to local authorities after raising concerns that thousands of taxi applications were clogging up the system.