The police and crime commissioner of Lancashire, Clive Grunshaw, has hit out at the new deregulation bill which will allow people without a private hire license to drive private hire vehicles when they are deemed to be ‘off duty’. According to Grunshaw, the mooted Deregulation Bill is going to put the lives of people in danger as the likelihood of sexual assaults and rapes will increase.
At present, only those with the requisite license can operate marked private hire vehicles and all drivers must be regularly re-licensed. These individuals are subject to background checks which reduces the chances of a convicted sex offender getting behind the wheel.
However, the new legislation will ensure that any member of the public can operate a marked private hire car when it is not officially being used for business. Grunshaw said residents must have the confidence to know that their driver is properly licensed before getting into the vehicle.
He believes these new measures will needlessly place countless people at risk and Lancashire could be one of the worst affected areas due to its thriving night time economy. While he acknowledges that the Government are not deliberately trying to place people in harm’s way, he hopes they will listen to the justified concerns of the many police commissioners opposed to the Bill.