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Sunday, 26 October 2014

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Assaulted Barrow taxi driver calls for CCTV cameras in cabs

TAXI drivers need more protection from violent customers, cabbies have claimed.

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PROTECTION Taxi driver Marc Kyte, who works for A1 taxis in Barrow, was assaulted by a customer on Saturday night JON GRANGER REF: 50044393B001

Mark Kyte, who works for A1 taxis in Barrow since the summer, picked up a fare in the town late on Saturday night.

During the journey to Millom, the customer was sick inside the cab and Mr Kyte told him he would need to pay to cover cleaning costs.

When they arrived the customer refused to pay the extra and Mr Kyte ended up being assaulted.

He reported the incident to police, and handed over a DVD of CCTV footage from inside his cab, but was disappointed when the man was only given a caution.

“The police said that as he had no convictions in the past 10 years, they would only give him a caution,” the 38-year-old cabbie said.

“I wasn’t badly hurt but it made me very angry that he’d only been given a warning.”

Mr Kyte’s boss, A1 co-owner Paul Brereton, said the police should be coming down hard on those who assault taxi drivers.

“Taxi drivers are vulnerable because they’re on their own most of the time,” Mr Brereton said.

Mr Brereton, whose firm has 80 drivers on its books, also believes all taxis should be fitted with CCTV, a sentiment backed by Barrow community sergeant John McIntosh.

Sgt McIntosh said: “If CCTV is fitted, and customers are made aware it is fitted, then it acts as a deterrent. It also allows us in identifying offenders.”

Bob Mullen, a Barrow taxi driver of 15 years, warned that some cabbies may consider taking their protection into their own hands.

“Some drivers are talking about arming themselves – it’s mainly hot air but the very fact they’re talking about it just shows how serious the issue is,” he said.

Police said they arrested and cautioned a 40-year-old man from Millom after the incident. A spokeswoman for Cumbria police said: “This was an appropriate and proportionate outcome for the circumstances of the offence and individual involved.”

Have your say

I think cameras are brilliant idea not just for the drivers but for there passangers. AS when i phoned last week to phone about a taxi driver having a cigarette in his car they said they would check the cctv in his car! NO ONE DESERVES TO BE ASSAULTED in there job.Just the same as people should not have to breath in stale cigarette smoke

Posted by mary on 15 February 2013 at 12:14

NOONE said the taxi driver deserved it and yes there are some good taxi drivers in the town.Not all taxi drivers are compassinate towards the eldery or disabled on many occasions i have witnessed old people trying to struggle down there path while the taxi driver sat on his phone ! AND TAXI DRIVERS do think they own the road and as for the dole ive never clamied it so would not know about getting a taxi there !

Posted by pffft on 15 February 2013 at 12:08

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