Study suggests driver database could reduce taxi-related crime

A London black cab taxi drives along Ecclestone Street in Westminster, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 11, 2014.  Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

A national database of taxi drivers would help spot criminal cabbies earlier, according to a review into child sex exploitation.

The case review published the finding after examining reports of exploitation in Buckinghamshire since 1998.

According to the BBC, the author discovered that issues with taxi drivers had been seen in many similar cases nationwide.

The review said it was "clear that taxi drivers picked young people up from schools and children's homes and some drivers were directly involved in the abuse of the young people".

The study, which was commissioned by Buckinghamshire's safeguarding children board, also found that complaints about taxi drivers were not always forwarded to licensing officers, and the authorities were not made aware when taxi drivers were arrested unless the driver chose to disclose their occupation.

Finally, the report suggested that a national database detailing drivers' regulatory sanctions would help weed out those with criminal intent, and that the councils of Buckinghamshire should consider having a special point of contact within Thames Valley Police for issues with taxi drivers.

Fran Gosling-Thomas, independent chair of the safeguarding children board, told the BBC: "The review shows that work carried out in Buckinghamshire to combat exploitation now is effective, and multi-agency working has really embedded in the last three years."

The news comes just a week after it emerged that hundreds of taxi drivers in north-west England had been granted operating licences despite declaring convictions for sex offences, burglary and assault.