Taxi and private hire drivers in Leeds could soon be subject to three-yearly criminal record checks under proposals drawn up by the city council.
Criminal Records Bureau disclosures are currently carried out on all drivers when they apply for a taxi or private hire licence.
But a report to the council’s licensing committee said: “There is no policy in place to direct that additional CRB disclosures be required during the lifetime of a licence.”
Best practice guidance issued by the Department for Transport says that checks should be made every three years.
The issue of more frequent CRB checks was also raised in an internal audit review of the council’s taxi and private hire section.
It said: “To comply with current best practice guidance, the section should require CRB disclosures to be renewed every three years, in addition to the requirement for new applicants.”
The report to the committee said: “The introduction of a three-yearly CRB vetting procedure in line with best practice guidance would contribute to a risk reduction in respect of public safety.
“There are strong reasons for the introduction of such a policy as indicated by the DfT and the council could be at risk if the guidance is not followed.”
The council is to hold three months public consultation over the proposal before a further report is produced in October for the committee to consider.
Coun Karen Bruce (Lab, Rothwell) said: “It seems sensible to have regular CRB checks because it is about helping to keep the public safe.”
Coun Asghar Khan (Lab, Burmantofts and Richmond Hill) said the suggested time frame of a check once every three years seemed appropriate.
Coun Ryk Downes (Lib Dem, Otley and Yeadon) said he understood the approach the council was taking but added: “The system is wrong because you get a CRB check but the following week it’s effectively out of date because something could have happened in the meantime.”
Drivers will pay an estimated £64 for the extra checks.