The case of taxi driver John Worboys, who was found guilty of one rape, five sexual assaults, one attempted assault and 12 drugging charges carried out between 2002 and 2008, highlights a significant failure in the process to assess driver safety.  

Suzy Lamplugh Trust is concerned that John Worboys was able to mis-use his position of trust as a taxi driver to carry out serious crimes over a period of time, despite some survivors reporting incidents to the police as early as 2002.   

John Worboys’ release from prison is concerning, however his authorisation to hold a taxi driver licence for so long highlights a significant failure in the system that reviews drivers’ suitability to hold such a licence. The inadequacy of processes to highlight the risk posed by some drivers has led to horrific cases such as the murder of Sian Callaghan in Swindon by private hire driver Christopher Halliwell in 2011 and the abuse of vulnerable young people in Rotherham.  

It is imperative that systems are robust to assure passengers that drivers have been vetted to the highest possible standard to prevent those who may pose a risk to public safety from obtaining a licence. Suzy Lamplugh Trust is committed to working to improve the safety of passengers travelling in licensed vehicles.