Taxi-drivers and the law

 

Madam, - I am disturbed to read that an estimated 1,400 of Dublin's taxi and hackney drivers (an estimated 15 per cent) have criminal convictions (The Irish Times, December 18th).

While the vast majority may have truly paid their debt to society, I would certainly like to know what type of conviction is acceptable.

I want to be sure that I can send my young grandchildren home by taxi unaccompanied without worry.

To take a different situation, I want to be sure a former gang member is not still being used as a "spotter" to set up a burglary or robbery.

The Soham tragedy has clearly shown how inadequate the parameters for judging the likelihood of re-offending can prove to be. In granting a taxi-licence to Mr Kevin Meehan, Judge Patrick Brady rejected Garda concerns which included the fact that a gunman attempted to murder Mr Meehan at his front door. Mr Meehan's new front door will now be his taxi.

I am a total believer in the rehabilitation of criminals, but it worries me that a judge should overrule Garda advice in a case such as this. - Yours, etc.,

ALAN COOK,

Foxrock,

Dublin 18.