Oldham Liberal Democrats have discovered that despite Oldham Council warning Greater Manchester Police (GMP) in December 2018 that the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS check) wasn’t good enough for taxi licensing, the Council still haven’t had a promised response.
The recent Assurance Review into historic CSE in Oldham found that GMP initially ignored the Council’s concerns about the working of DBS checks for taxi licensing submitted in December 2018 but the new Chief Constable of GMP, Stephen Watson, had responded to the Council’s concerns set out in a letter in December 2018. The report did not detail when Stephen Watson replied or what his reply contained.
Mark Kenyon, Liberal Democrat councillor for Grotton, Springhead & Lees, said: “We’ve quizzed Council further and they’ve confirmed that whilst Stephen Watson was appointed as the new Chief Constable in May 2021, the Council only received a reply in October 2021. This promised a ‘review’ into the Council’s concerns about DBS checks and their suitability for taxi licensing and public safety.
“It’s now July 2022, and Council have revealed that GMP have still not been back in touch, let alone helped with the requirement for extra vetting.”
Fellow Liberal Democrat Councillor, Sam Al-Hamdani said: “It took the new Chief Constable five months to reply to a serious public safety concern from the Council. It’s now ten months since his promise to do a review and he’s still not contacted the Council. We’ve asked that the Mayor, the Chief Constable and the Council get their act together and sort this out. Talk is cheap. Actions have meaning. Andy Burnham and the new Chief Constable must deliver on this public safety priority”.