Following recent mis-interpretation of the issue regarding police checks on minicab drivers/escorts used for SEN Transport Provision we have issued the following statement.
Councillor Andrew Judge, Leader of Merton Council, said: “
· Merton Council have always carried out police checks on minicab drivers/escorts and our own drivers/escorts that are used for the SEN Transport Service.
· On current routes all the minicab drivers and escorts we use have been police checked and cleared under the old process and are currently in the process of being re-checked under the new CRB process which was recently introduced by the Government – unfortunately there is a current national backlog for this.
· Due to the backlog new minicab drivers/escorts may not have been checked yet – however we would only use them if there were another police checked driver/escort present in the vehicle. This has been agreed with the SEN Network and with all the minicab firms we use. This situation hasn’t arisen yet and so there has been no need for this to happen.
· Whilst it is not a legal requirement to carry out police checks on drivers or escorts Government guidance requires measures to prevent unsuitable people coming into contact with children and young people. Merton Council, and most other boroughs, undertake police checks as good practice. As a Council we have a duty of care and we feel it is vital to carry out checks to make sure our children are as safe as possible.’