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Controversial Taxi Licensing Guidelines For Sex Offenders Causing Concern

Convicted sex offenders can apply for a taxi license in South Cheshire as long as they have not committed a crime for more than 10 years. This news has outraged many people including one Crewe woman who suffered sex abuse as a child. It has also angered campaigners who have been trying to have sex offenders removed from Linden Bank Bail Hostel because it is close to a park for children.

The unnamed Crewe woman said that it was outrageous and cannot understand how someone who has committed a sex offence can be allowed in a car with a woman or a child. She said that people always talk about offenders serving their time but never take into account the person that has been abused. She knows first-hand that the abuse stays with the victim forever.

Cheshire East Council is in charge of taxi licensing and discussed the matter at a meeting this week. Applicants that have been convicted of an offence relating to indecent assault or any other crime of a sexual nature will be refused a license for up to 5 years after they are free from conviction. Applicants on the sex offenders register would be considered 3 years after being removed from it. Those that have been convicted of a sex offence while acting as a cab driver will be considered if they have not offended for 10 years.

The council voted on whether the length of time on all offences should be increased with the latter offenders not allowed apply for licenses for up to 20 years after their crime. A spokesperson for Cheshire East Council was adamant that they would never put people at risk. He said that all applications were considered on their merits and pointed out that the council would quickly refuse an application if they felt the applicant was still a danger to the public.

He also said that a candidate’s sexual behaviour or activity is also taken into account and certain individuals may be refused a license even if they don’t have a conviction for a sex offence. The spokesman continued by saying that the council were following national guidelines and that the policy sets out the minimum requirements. This means that applicants will not automatically be considered when they have passed the timeframe outlined by the council.

Source: crewechronicle.co.uk