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Sex offenders register - Pendle taxi operator ordered to pay over £2,000

Published: Thursday, 1st June 2017

A Pendle taxi operator has been ordered to pay over £2,000 in court costs for his unsuccessful appeal to Burnley Crown Court to allow a known sex offender to work at his company.

The appeal was heard on 25th May.

Mohammed Sajid Khaliq, who holds the private hire operator’s licence for Crown and Greenline taxis, had been employing a known sex offender to work as a dispatcher.

This is someone who takes bookings and dispatches taxis out to customers.

The man Mohammed Khaliq was employing is on the sex offenders register and Pendle Council had won an appeal at Burnley Magistrates’ Court to prevent the man entering Mohammed Khaliq’s taxi company.

Neil Watson, the manager responsible for taxi licensing at Pendle Council, said:

“Public safety is a top priority for us.  That’s why we introduced a new taxi policy last year and we’ve worked closely with the police on this case.”

All drivers now have to register with the Disclosure and Data Barring Service (DBS) so Pendle Council can check online annually for any convictions since their licence was granted.

“We made these changes to minimise the risk of child sexual exploitation, to protect vulnerable children and adults and safeguard anyone using a taxi,” he explained.

“At Burnley Crown Court the judge was surprised that Mohammed Khaliq was appealing against our decision and Burnley Magistrates Court which upheld it.

“He called into question whether Mohammed Khaliq was a fit and proper person to operate the business,” said Neil Watson.

“The judge warned that if the appeal went ahead, it could jeopardise the future of his operator’s licence,” he added.

Following advice from his barrister, Mohammed Khaliq withdrew his appeal and was ordered to pay £2,033.26 in court costs.

In 2016 over 450 taxi drivers took part in safeguarding training organised by Pendle Council and run by Nelson and Colne College’s Lancashire Adult Learning.  The training was held to help taxi drivers spot the signs of sexual abuse of children, young people and vulnerable adults and understand the law relating to them.

The training of drivers from every firm in Pendle also included raising awareness about child sexual exploitation (CSE) and human trafficking.