Private taxi hire companies have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their passengers, and one way to do this is by carrying out Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks on their drivers. A CRB check provides information about an individual’s criminal history, including any convictions or cautions that may indicate a potential risk to passengers. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of CRB checks for private taxi hire companies and the process involved.
1. Ensuring passenger safety
Private taxi hire companies have a duty of care to their passengers, and this includes ensuring their safety during the journey. By carrying out CRB checks on their drivers, companies can identify any potential risks and take appropriate measures to safeguard passengers from harm. This can include refusing to hire drivers with a history of violent or sexual offences, or providing additional training and support to drivers who have previous convictions for lesser offences.
2. Meeting legal requirements
Private taxi hire companies are required by law to carry out CRB checks on their drivers. This is to ensure that they are not employing individuals who pose a risk to passengers or the wider public. Failure to carry out CRB checks can result in fines, legal action, and damage to the company’s reputation.
3. Building trust with passengers
Carrying out CRB checks can also help private taxi hire companies build trust with their passengers. By demonstrating that they take passenger safety seriously and are taking steps to mitigate any potential risks, companies can reassure passengers that they are in safe hands. This can lead to increased customer loyalty, positive reviews, and recommendations.
4. The CRB check process
The process of carrying out a CRB check involves several steps. Firstly, the company must obtain the driver’s consent to carry out the check and inform them of their rights under data protection laws. The company must then complete an application form, providing details of the driver’s personal information and previous addresses.
The completed application form is then sent to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), who will carry out the check. The DBS will provide a certificate outlining the driver’s criminal history, including any convictions or cautions that may be relevant to their role as a taxi driver. The certificate will be sent directly to the company.
5. Ongoing monitoring
Carrying out a CRB check is not a one-time event; private taxi hire companies must also carry out ongoing monitoring of their drivers’ criminal records. This can be done by requesting updated DBS certificates at regular intervals, or by using online services that provide real-time updates on any new convictions or cautions.
In the case of private taxi hire companies, enhanced checks may be required for drivers who regularly transport vulnerable passengers. This can include children, the elderly, or individuals with disabilities. Enhanced checks can help identify any potential risks to these passengers and ensure that appropriate measures are taken to safeguard their welfare.
Carrying out CRB checks is essential for private taxi hire companies to ensure the safety of their passengers, meet legal requirements, build trust with customers, and mitigate potential risks. The process involves obtaining consent from the driver, completing an application form, and obtaining a certificate from the DBS outlining the driver’s criminal history. Ongoing monitoring is also necessary to ensure that drivers continue to meet the required standards of conduct and safety.