However, despite convictions for violence and burglary, drivers with previous convictions have been handed licences by councils.
A shock study reveals that almost one in six applications for cabbie licences to Kirklees Council were from people with convictions,
Among the previous convictions revealed through the Disclosure and Barring Service for people applying for taxi licences was a sexual assault on a girl aged under 13 in Kirklees.
There were two convictions for indecent assault on women aged 16 and over in Kirklees and one in Calderdale, and one for indecent assault on girls aged under 14 in Kirklees.
There was one conviction for manslaughter and one conviction for kidnapping in Kirklees.
There was one conviction each in Kirklees and Calderdale for causing death by dangerous driving.
Across the both councils, there were 12 previous convictions for dangerous driving.
In Kirklees, those applying for taxi licences between April 2012 and March 2015 had 141 previous convictions for assault occasioning actual bodily harm, with 16 in Calderdale, 217 for having no motor insurance, 96 for driving while disqualified, and 83 for driving while over the limit.
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A total of 220 applications from Kirklees in 2014/15 were revealed to have previous convictions, out of 1,298 applications, with a total of 919 previous convictions, according to figures revealed following a Freedom of Information request. In Calderdale, there were eight applications showing 19 previous convictions out of 63 applications.
Separate figures revealed under the Freedom of Information Act show 12 drivers in Kirklees were issued a taxi licence despite criminal convictions between November 2014 and October 2015, out of 49 cases heard by the licensing committee.
Previous convictions included violence, burglary, attempted robbery and threatening behaviour.
All applicants for new or renewed hackney carriage or private hire licences must obtain a DBS check.
The figures do not show if applicants were given licences, as councils have discretion over whether to disregard previous offences. Decisions are made by the licensing committee.
A Kirklees Council spokesperson said: “Anyone is permitted to apply for a licence, and just because someone applies, it does not mean that a licence has been granted.
“The council considers each application on an individual basis taking into account all the information before making a decision. The safety of the public is our utmost priority when issuing licences.”
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, Clr Steve Sweeney, said:
“As part of the taxi licensing process in Calderdale, all applicants are required to have an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, both on application and every three years.
“It is also part of their conditions of licence that they must inform us of any conviction, arrest, enquiry, caution, summons to court, charge (even if not convicted), Fixed Penalty Notice for any matter, and any harassment or criminal order.
“The vast majority of applicants have no previous offences, but any offence is considered on a case by case basis and could result in the applicant being refused a licence, their renewal being rejected or their licence could be suspended or revoked.
“In addition to this, all taxi drivers and private hire licence holders in Calderdale must complete compulsory training on spotting and reporting signs of child sexual exploitation."