A taxi driver has lost his Hackney transport license after he was caught messaging a teenager inappropriately.
Cornwall Council’s Miscellaneous Licenses Committee decided to revoke the license after being made aware of what was described as “a serious safeguarding issue”.
The minutes of the meeting where the decision was made on February 11 have just been published in anticipation of the next meeting of the committee.
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In the documents, the identity of the driver is not provided although it is stated that he operated in the North Cornwall area. The driver is called E1D164.
Councilors decided to revoke the license after hearing about inappropriate messages sent to a 15-year-old child. The driver has not been arrested or prosecuted for any criminal offence.
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The minutes read: ‘Members noted that this review had been brought to the committee due to information received from Cornwall Council’s transport co-ordination department regarding a serious safeguarding issue.
“Members noted that the issues involved a 15-year-old child and that the child’s parents raised the issue due to messages they became aware of that were sent between E1D164 and the child.
“The members noted the content of the posts and felt that E1D164’s behavior as a licensed professional driver was inappropriate. The members also felt that E1D164’s conduct had a direct impact on public safety and that their duty was to protect the public.
“While the members noted that E1D164 would not be prosecuted by the police for a criminal offense, overall the members were satisfied that E1D164’s conduct was of sufficient concern to warrant revocation of E1D164’s license. .”
The committee agreed to revoke the license immediately. The driver has the right to appeal the decision to the district court.
At a separate Miscellaneous Licensing Committee meeting on February 1, another driver also had his license withdrawn after being arrested by police.
The driver, identified as CD219, had a Hackney transport license for the Restormel area – including St Austell and surrounding areas – as well as a private hire licence.
No information is provided on the nature of the offense for which the driver was arrested other than to state that “the allegations were extremely serious”.
Minutes of the meeting read: “Members took note of the content of the Devon and Cornwall Police disclosure and considered the allegations to be extremely serious. The members also felt that the allegations had a direct impact on public safety and that their duty was to protect the public.
“Although CD219 was not convicted, overall the members were satisfied that the allegations were sufficient to warrant revocation of CD219’s license.”
The record adds: “The members also noted the bail conditions under which CD219 had been released and felt that this would mean that he would not be able to act as a taxi driver and provide a appropriate service to the public.
“Members heard from CD219 and noted that he is not currently working as a taxi driver. The driver did not dispute that what was alleged happened, but gave an explanation as to the alleged offence.
“Members applied the test to find out if they would be happy for a loved one or a vulnerable person to travel alone in a chauffeur-driven vehicle.
“Given all the questions, the members concluded that they would not. Members felt that the allegations regarding the conduct of CD219 were of serious concern. The members felt that, overall, the information received from the police confirmed their view that CD219 was not a fit and proper person to hold such a permit.