Beds, Herts & Bucks

Milton Keynes taxi rape row: Sex crime taxi driver 'still working'

Peter Marland
Image caption Milton Keynes Council leader Peter Marland said he thought Milton Keynes cabs were "safe"

A taxi driver convicted of a sexual offence has not had his taxi licence taken away, a council has said.

He is one of seven Milton Keynes drivers found to have criminal convictions in a council investigation.

The inquiry came after a convicted rapist had both his private hire and Hackney Carriage licences revoked last week.

Council leader Peter Marland said the authority would take action when it had the "full facts".

'Highest priority'

A council spokesman said the issue was its "highest priority" and it was preparing to interview all drivers it had concerns about.

Image copyright Milton Keynes Council
Image caption Subhan Shafiq stepped down as Milton Keynes mayor

The driver convicted of four sexual assaults, including rape, had been issued with a private hire vehicle licence in September 2011, despite councillors knowing of his convictions.

He was granted a Hackney Carriage licence last March.

Both licences were revoked last week after a member of the public raised concerns about him.

The council said it had begun a detailed review of licence holders, which found seven other drivers gave "cause for concern".

Labour leader Mr Marland told BBC Three Counties Radio: "At the moment we are doing all the background checks.

"One of those [seven] drivers has handed in his plates and we will take immediate action against the other six as we find out more detail."

Mr Marland could not give a time scale but said it would be "as soon as we possibly can".

"I think our cabs are safe, the vast majority of taxi drivers in Milton Keynes are good, law abiding people," he said.

Liberal Democrat mayor Subhan Shafiq stepped down after he was found to have personally vouched for the convicted rapist, describing the man as being of "good current character".

The chairman and vice-chairman of the licensing committee, Gladstone McKenzie and Stuart Burke, have also resigned.

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