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25 Mar 2020

Taxi driver didn't reveal benefit fraud conviction

A woman who failed to disclose a conviction of benefit fraud has lost her taxi driver licence.

Between September 7 2014 and May 1 2018, Manjit Kaur, 45, from Watford, failed to promptly notify Watford Borough Council of a change of circumstances which she knew would affect her entitlement to housing benefit.

She then further dishonestly made a statement to her local authority with a view to obtaining housing benefit.

In court at the end of last year, she was sentenced to three counts of fraud and fined a total of £2,110.

Further to her sentence, Mrs Kaur failed to disclose her conviction to Three Rivers District Council.

The council only knew about the conviction when a licensing officer spotted her name in a court listings in this newspaper.

Mrs Kaur was subsequently interviewed under caution by licensing officers. She then admitted to the conviction and failing to disclose this information to the licensing authority as required by the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Policy 2019.

Cllr Stephen Giles Medhurst, responsible for transport and economic development at Three Rivers District Council, said: "All licensed drivers are required to advise the licensing authority within 72 hours, or when is practicably possible, of any involvement with police.

"This includes investigations and arrests so officers can undertake an assessment as to whether the driver remain fit and proper to be licensed.

"Three Rivers takes licensing of drivers and their vehicles seriously and we will not hesitate to revoke licences from those that don’t abide the rules."

After full consideration of the facts, Mrs Kaur’s private hire driver licence was revoked by Three Rivers, and she was subsequently issued with a simple caution and her details added to the National Anti-Fraud Network database.

It was deemed that it would not be in the public interest to prosecute Mrs Kaur.

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