At least one in every 10 taxi drivers operating in Dacorum has a criminal conviction.
The Gazette can reveal that at least 43 out of 431 licensed hackney carriage and private hire drivers working in the borough have been in trouble with the law, despite council bosses saying they ‘cannot issue details of specific convictions’.
And because of changes to how convictions are recorded, the actual figure could be higher.
A spokesman for Dacorum Borough Council’s taxi licensing department said that the majority of the convictions concerned are historic in nature, being between the 1960s and 1980s, and ‘were received long before the individual began driving taxis’.
They said: “Every conviction is considered fully before any decision on whether to grant or refuse a licence is made.
“The council’s primary concern when exercising its taxi licensing powers is the protection of the public and if we cannot be satisfied that an applicant is a fit and proper person – whether by virtue of convictions or another circumstance – they will not be granted a licence.”
Recent changes to the law mean cabbies no longer have to disclose certain spent convictions.
Dacorum Borough Council admitted this means that they no longer know the exact number of drivers with criminal records.
This revelation comes 18 months after a taxi driver in Milton Keynes, in neighbouring Buckinghamshire, was revealed to be a violent rapist who had been jailed for eight years.
A spokesman for Dacorum Borough Council’s freedom of information department said: “We can only advise of the number of drivers with convictions shown on their most recent DBS certificates, and not the total number with prior convictions, as the latter is no longer known by the authority.”
>Information on taxi licensing guidelines for Dacorum can be found at www.dacorum.gov.uk/home/environment-street-care/licensing