A MAN was refused a taxi licence after it was revealed he had been cautioned by police for trying to hire a prostitute.

The applicant was before Bolton Council’s Licensing Sub-Committee last week to ask for a licence to drive a private hire vehicle.

The committee decided to refuse the application because of a ‘pattern of behaviour’ relating to attempts to solicit a prostitute that they thought made him not a fit and proper person to hold a licence.

Councillors heard that the applicant, who cannot be named, had received a caution for soliciting someone for the purposes of obtaining their sexual services as a prostitute in a street or public place in March, 2011.

The man also received a warning about trying to hire a prostitute in 2008.

Minutes of the meeting state: “The sub-committee was concerned that the applicant had a pattern of behaviour relating to this type of conduct. The 2008 incident was not declared by the applicant.”

The sub-committee found that the driver is not a fit and proper person to hold a licence.

It found that drivers are placed in a position of trust and have a duty to conduct themselves in a lawful and professional manner at all times.

Bolton Council’s statement of fitness and suitability indicates that if a person has a conviction or an offence related to sexual offences such as soliciting, importuning, indecent exposure or other similar offences and it was committed less than then an application is normally refused.

The minutes state that the applicant did not provide evidence to justify overturning this presumption and he would be working in an unsupervised environment.

The sub-committee’s primary duty of concern is for the safety and well-being of the public and found reasonable cause to refuse to grant the licence.

The minutes state: “Members of the public and in particular, the elderly, infirm and children or vulnerable adults entrust their personal safety and wellbeing to private hire drivers whenever they take a journey.

“Passengers often travel alone and are vulnerable to inappropriate behaviour.”

The man and his wife both attended the meeting and gave verbal evidence.

Another applicant also went before the sub-committee to renew his licence.

It was set to be heard because of a ‘misconduct matter’ and the applicant attended the meeting but asked the matter to be referred because his solicitor was not available.

The sub-committee heard evidence from the licensing officer and the matter was deferred until a future meeting.