Nearly 200 drivers with criminal records were granted licences from Falkirk Council to drive taxis on local roads last year.
Shock figures reveal that despite their previous offending 184 were issued with the paperwork needed to allow them to legally transport paying passengers across the district in cabs and private hire vehicles.
The council has also confirmed that over the last three years it approved applications for drivers with convictions for assault to severe injury and drink-driving.
Yesterday (Wednesday) town hall chiefs defended their procedures.
A spokesperson insisted: “The current vetting methods are sufficiently robust and ensure only persons fit to hold a drivers licence obtain a taxi licence.
“They are subject to an annual renewal process which enables both the police and the licensing authority to undertake checks on the continuing fitness of the driver.”
Since 2012 applications across Scotland from over 3000 people with criminal convictions have been approved. At the same time another report has revealed the number of complaints about taxi drivers received by councils continues to rise.
The council’s spokesperson stressed: “All complaints are investigated and appropriate action taken. Complaints in relation to taxi drivers are mainly received from members of the public, but it is common for taxi drivers to complain about each other.
“Last year following two complaints from the police and one from a member of the public two taxi drivers had their licences suspended and one received a formal warning.”
Bill McIntosh, general secretary of the body that represents the taxi trade, said: “Licensing authorities are required to ensure applicants meet their interpretation of being a fit and proper person.
“Taking into account the number of licensed taxi and private hire car drivers in Scotland it could be argued the number of complaints were in real terms relatively small.”