Criminals with string of offences applied for Chesterfield taxi jobs

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Criminals with a string of offences have tried to get a job as a taxi driver in Chesterfield, we can reveal.

A Freedom of Information request by this newspaper to Chesterfield Borough Council has found that seven people who have applied to become a taxi driver in the last two years have been rejected because of their previous convictions.

Among the convictions include offences such as arson, possessing a firearm, fraud, theft, assault and driving without a licence and insurance.

Councillor Chris Ludlow, Chesterfield Borough Council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “We take the safety of our residents very seriously, which is why we carry out stringent checks on people who apply for a licence to drive a taxi or private hire vehicle in Chesterfield.

“The number of licences refused is low because our officers will work with people before they apply for a licence and will advise them if a licence is likely to be refused before they make their application.”

The statistics from the FOI request shows that three people who applied to the borough council this year to become a taxi driver were turned down.

One person was rejected for convictions for assault, harassment and the cultivation of cannabis.

In 2016, the borough council rejected four applications - with one person having 34 offences.

One person was declined for convictions of common assault, theft, cultivation of cannabis, production of cannabis, breaching a suspended sentence and dishonestly using electricity.

A second person was rejected for having 34 offences including two convictions of arson, 10 thefts, three counts of fraud, two counts of driving while disqualified, burglary and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Another person was turned down for three counts of possessing cannabis, failing to surrender to custody twice, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, disorderly behaviour, breach of community punishment order, driving with excess alcohol, three counts of driving while disqualified, using a vehicle while uninsured, resisting or obstructing a police constable, two counts of having an article with blade and taking a vehicle without consent.

While the fourth person was declined by the borough council for two convictions of destroying or damaging property, being drunk and disorderly and battery and affray.