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F15/496

Assistance dogs in taxis

Request Description

I am requesting the following information in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

From 2013 to the current date, please can you provide a yearly breakdown of the following information?

Number of licenses

  1. The number of a) taxi / Hackney Carriage and b) private hire licences issued in your licensing area.

Exemption to requirements to carry guide or assistance dogs

2. The number of certificates issued to a) hackney carriage / taxi and b) private hire licensees exempting drivers from carrying guide or assistance dogs

3. In your licensing area, Is a GP's note considered sufficient evidence for the issue of an exemption certificate under S169 and S171 of the Equality Act 2010?

Complaints, prosecutions and enforcement action

4. How many complaints or allegations were made against a) hackney carriage / taxi drivers and b) private hire drivers for refusing to carry a guide or assistance dog?

5. How many a) hackney carriage / taxi and b) private hire drivers did you prosecute for refusing a guide or assistance dog in each year and how many of these resulted in conviction?.

6. How many a) hackney carriage / taxi and b private hire drivers did you take enforcement action against (in each year) for refusing to carry guide or assistance dogs?

7. Do you have a policy in your licensing area whether or not to prosecute drivers believed to have refused guide or assistance dogs? If so, please can you confirm whether you do prosecute where appropriate or whether you have a policy to dispose of cases in any other way.

Request Date21 July 2015
Requested byMedia
Released Date  

28 July 2015    

Response

Number of licenses

1. The number of a) taxi / Hackney Carriage and b) private hire licences issued in your licensing area.

2013 - HCV 250, PHV 46

2014 - HCV 257, PHV 44

2015 - HCV 257, PHV 57

Exemption to requirements to carry guide or assistance dogs

2. The number of certificates issued to a) hackney carriage / taxi and b) private hire licensees exempting drivers from carrying guide or assistance dogs

a) HC - One

b) PH - None

3. In your licensing area, Is a GP's note considered sufficient evidence for the issue of an exemption certificate under S169 and S171 of the Equality Act 2010?

Our current policy allows this but it is due for review.

Complaints, prosecutions and enforcement action

4. How many complaints or allegations were made against a) hackney carriage / taxi drivers and b) private hire drivers for refusing to carry a guide or assistance dog? - None

5. How many a) hackney carriage / taxi and b) private hire drivers did you prosecute for refusing a guide or assistance dog in each year and how many of these resulted in conviction? - None

6. How many a) hackney carriage / taxi and b private hire drivers did you take enforcement action against (in each year) for refusing to carry guide or assistance dogs? - None

7. Do you have a policy in your licensing area whether or not to prosecute drivers believed to have refused guide or assistance dogs? If so, please can you confirm whether you do prosecute where appropriate or whether you have a policy to dispose of cases in any other way.

We have a Licensing Points Scheme (document in downloads section below) in operation which is used where there are breaches of policy or legislation. This is part of a stepped approach to enforcement but does not limit the authority's ability to prosecute where considered appropriate.

Refusal to carry a guide, hearing or other assistance dog in a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle carries between 8-12 points (decided at the discretion of the issuing officer). An accumulation of 12 points over a rolling two year period will result in a driver being bought before a licensing sub-committee where the 'fit and proper' test will be applied. The options then open to the sub-committee are to take no action, suspend the licence for a fixed period or revoke the licence.

Refused