Just 1 in 5 Milton Keynes cabbies have been checked in three months

Fewer than one in five taxi drivers have been vetted since a rapist was hired as a city cabbie - and the council cannot say when the checks will be complete.

All 1,300 private hire and Hackney drivers were asked to undergo criminal record checks, but three months later just 241 have been inspected - and the council are already 10 days past their own deadline.

No-shows and drivers bringing insufficient documentation means the people of Milton Keynes won’t know if their driver has any convictions, while the taxi trade gears up for its busiest time of the year.

But council chief executive Carole Mills says the authority has “acted openly, quickly and robustly” over the scandal.

She said: “Audit reviews of all kinds of systems and processes in any organisation will routinely identify weaknesses.

“The DBS checks of all drivers are over and above what most councils do and we are working to conclude them as quickly as possible.”

This week’s council investigation report also revealed 33 drivers randomly selected to show their DBS disclosures as part of checks on their own system have failed to do so.

The council has given itself a deadline of February next year to complete this work.

That is the same time-frame given to the new chair of the licensing committee, Catriona Morris, to decide whether to disallow councillors from giving personal references.

Ms Mills added: “The vast majority of taxi drivers in Milton Keynes are decent, law-
abiding, hard-working people.

“Whilst we are very keen to work with the trade, if a minority of drivers either refuse to come in or fail to answer our repeated requests to do so we will take more formal action against them.”

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