Plans to cut red tape for taxi and private hire drivers have been slammed by Police and Crime Commissioners across England and Wales.
Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), has joined forces with a cross-party group of PCCs to highlight the risks associated with the new Deregulation Bill – which they believe could put people in danger of being raped and sexually assaulted.
Currently only licensed private hire drivers can drive a marked private hire vehicle, and all drivers are regularly re-licensed.
But under the new Bill the Government want to see that changed, and allow anyone to drive a private hire vehicle for their own use when the registered driver is not using the vehicle.
And the group of Commissioners – led by Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd - is lobbying Ken Clarke to get that measure removed from the Bill, which is currently going through Parliament.
Mr Grunshaw said: “Residents need to be able to have confidence that when they get into a marked private hire vehicle the driver is licensed and is who they say they are.
“These new measures put everyone at risk, and with the thriving night-time economy we have in Lancashire – and the number of university students in Lancaster, Preston and Ormskirk – it is not a risk we want to take.”