Taxi deregulation bill will put people at risk, Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner Sir Graham Bright warns

PUBLISHED: 10:39 11 July 2014 | UPDATED: 10:39 11 July 2014

Sir Graham Bright. Picture: STEVE WILLIAMS.

Sir Graham Bright. Picture: STEVE WILLIAMS.

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Cambridgeshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner fears the proposed taxi deregulation bill could lead to more people being raped, sexually assaulted or even murdered after a night out.

The bill, which is currently going through parliament, would allow anyone to drive a licensed vehicle when it is not being used for work purposes, licensing authorities to renew licences less frequently and taxi and minicab firms to subcontract to other firms.

Sir Graham Bright is part of a cross-party group of police and crime commissioners who have written to Minister Without Portfolio Ken Clarke to urge him to amend certain measures in the bill or instead introduce a dedicated taxi bill.

Mr Bright has also written to Cambridgeshire’s MPs to ask for their support.

He said: “As elected representatives of the force area, our Members of Parliament are in a good position to be able to help me.

“I have asked if there is any way they can either get the bill amended, or urge the introduction of a dedicated taxi bill, that would reflect not only my concerns, but those of other police and crime commissioners, licensing officials, police, the taxi trade and organisations that work with victims of rape and sexual assault.

“I understand the need to address the issues that the deregulation bill is aimed at, but my concern is ensuring that there are safeguards in place to protect the public from becoming victims of crime.

I cannot and will not support something that could place Cambridgeshire members of public, including those who are already vulnerable, at risk. I hope our MPs feel able to take up this important issue in Parliament.”

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