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Friday, 21 November 2014

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Assault figures reveal dangers for Cumbria taxi drivers

MORE than 100 taxi drivers have been subjected to assaults in the past five years across Cumbria.

WORRYING FIGURES: More than 100 taxi drivers have been subjected to assaults in the past five years across Cumbria. Inset, taxi driver Sally Ryce, who has been attacked by a customer

The worrying figures released by Cumbria Police following a Freedom of Information request highlight the dangers some cabbies face when going about their work.

The figures, which cover the five-year period up to November 1 last year, show a total of 116 taxi drivers have reported being the victim of verbal or physical abuse since 2008.

Bob Mullen, a taxi driver in Barrow, said that the problems cabbies face are getting worse in the Barrow area due to financial difficulties.

Mr Mullen said that in some other areas, such as Carlisle or Kendal, there is a warden employed for security at the ranks.

He added: “There is not a warden on watch at ranks in this area.”

However, the self-employed taxi driver thinks the figures are likely to be higher due to the number of cases of abuse that go unreported.

Mr Mullen puts the number of assaults on taxi drivers down to the opening hours for bars and clubs being extended to as late as 6am. He said: “It’s getting worse because of the late opening in the town.”

Millom taxi driver, Sally Ryce, also believes that many cases of physical abuse go unreported to the police.

The 30-year-old said: “What is the point in wasting the telephone call?”

Miss Ryce was attacked by a customer while on a job in 2011. The “scary” incident left the taxi driver “so angry – it was unbelievable.”

She said that, during the attack, an 82-year-old man, who was in the front passenger seat, shielded her from the attacker in the back seat.

The Millom woman, who owns Sal’s Cars, said that the abuse, whether physical or verbal, is common. She said: “It happens every weekend nearly.”

The FOI request shows that in 2008, 32 taxi drivers across Cumbria reported assaults. In 2009, there were 18. The following year there were 26 and in 2011 there were 23. Last year saw a total of 17 reports of abuse.

Over the same five-year period, 21 bus drivers also claimed to have been assaulted.

Have your say

i think also the problem is now is party drugs are a big thing and younsters seem too have no respect for anything or anyone which is a shame it all old fashioned values which we have seem to have lost in this country over the years

Posted by gibbo on 8 January 2013 at 10:05

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