Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner has welcomed a government climbdown on measures it was planning to introduce which would have led to an increase in rape and sexual assaults on people going home from a night out.
Tony Lloyd has been campaigning against the plans to allow anyone to drive a taxi or private hire vehicle when it was “off duty”. This would have inevitably led to an increase in bogus taxi drivers and had been slammed as a risky and unnecessary move.
He was backed by more than half of the country’s Police and Crime Commissioners, licensing authorities, organisations that work with victims, the taxi trade itself and victims.
Tony said: “I am glad that government has listened to the voice of common sense and backed down from this foolhardy and dangerous proposal.
“This proposal simply hadn’t been thought through properly and would have risked lives and people’s welfare.”
The measure was part of the Deregulation Bill, which aims to cut red tape for self-employed people and small businesses. Two other measures on taxis and private hire around where cabbies can operate and how long they are permitted to go without being relicensed remain in the Bill. Tony has once again called on ministers to remove those clauses.
He added: “The remaining proposals, which will allow cabs to operate outside their area and also loosen taxi licensing, also need to go. So I repeat my call to government to remove these risky measures from the Deregulation Bill.
“Taxi reform is long overdue, but we need to have bespoke legislation introduced so that we can have a proper debate on an issue as important as this.”