TAXIs - whether private hire or Hackney Carriages - are a vital part of our local economy.
They are also a vital tool in the armoury for reducing the number of cars in our city centre.
But, as Ghulam Nabi, head of the Eurocabs Hackney Carriage Association said: “We want the public’s trust, and we want them to feel safe when they are travelling with us.”
It is staggering that anyone would think of applying to be a taxi driver when they have serious convictions.
But, as our investigations shows, more than one in seven applications for a taxi or private hire licence in Leeds was from an individual with a previous criminal conviction - 43 of those applications showed convictions for previous sexual offences, 490 for violent offences and 178 for drug-related crime.
The fact that so many with prior convictions would even try to get a licence shows just how important these checks and balances are and how robust the system needs to be.
Leeds City Council says: “We have clear and robust policies for granting taxi and private hire licences, recognised nationally as an example of best practice.”
It’s a stark reminder to us all to ensure we do use bona-fide licenced taxis when making our journeys. Anything else is not worth the risk just to save a few quid.