Taxi licensing policies and enforcement

Drivers and Vehicles

Licensing Officers carry out the following types of standard enforcement inspections either on their own or with fellow Licensing Officers or with Enforcement Officers from other agencies and Thames Valley Police, linked together as the NightSafe Partnership:

  • Rank Inspections - to check that vehicles and drivers are complying with the conditions of their licences.
  • Late Night Inspections - are carried out throughout the District, to ensure that vehicles and drivers are complying with the conditions of their licence.
  • Test Purchases - are carried out throughout the District to ensure that private hire drivers are not 'plying for hire', and that any vehicle seen to be parked in a prominent position is there because it has been booked by a customer.

Private Hire Operators

Operator Inspections are carried out on Private Hire Operators (i.e. the business premises) to ensure that accurate records of bookings are kept. The over-riding consideration is to protect the public.

We are able to offer advice to both the public and the licensees in order to rectify issues that arise. However there are further powers available to us such as prosecution, suspension of licences, revocation of licences, warnings, etc.

When determining the level of action appropriate, we have regard to our Policy on the Relevance of Warnings, Offences, Cautions and Convictions.

Taxi Marshals

We have implemented a Taxi Marshal Scheme at various taxi ranks in the city centre. Marshals have proven to be highly effective in other towns and cities in reducing illegal ‘pick ups’, controlling taxi queues, improving the safety of vulnerable persons and dealing with confrontational situations.

It is the responsibility of the Taxi Marshals to

  • Help manage queues at taxi ranks
  • Challenge private hire vehicles touting for business (more commonly known as 'plying for hire'

The Taxi Marshals work closely with us, Thames Valley Police and the City of Oxford Licensed Taxicab Association (COLTA), in order to ensure the efficient running of the operation. They are able to communicate any problems that they witness via the Radio-Link scheme to the CCTV Control Room, as Taxi Marshals are the ‘eyes and ears’ of the Licensing Authority and the Police and can play a vital role in the reduction of crime.

Joint Operating Framework for Transporting Children/Adults with Care and Support Needs and Taxi Licensing in Oxfordshire

The Oxfordshire Joint Operating Framework (JOF) for the Transportation of Children and Adults with Care and Support Needs and Taxi Licensing was commissioned by the Child Sexual Exploitation Sub-Group of Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board (OSCB), and is the result of collaboration between the City and District Councils, the County Council and the Police.

The Oxfordshire Joint Operating Framework provides a set of minimum standards for taxi licensing and transporting children and adults with care and support needs in the county. Key areas include mandatory training, use of safeguarding materials and information, information sharing, joint operations and quality assurance.

Please follow the link below to view the framework agreement.

Joint Operating Framework