23rd Jul, 2017

Police alert over spate of minicab incidents involving teens in Studley

Ross Crawford 17th Jul, 2017 Updated: 18th Jul, 2017

A SPATE off incidents over minicab safety has led police to issue advice on using them.

The initiative follows, two, possibly three incidents in and around Studley.

The first case happened last Friday, July 14 at around 4pm when a teenager walking along Crooks Lane was approached by a man described as Asian and in his 40s to 50s, with a beard and driving a silver estate car which appeared to be a taxi.

The man offered the teen some sweets and a lift in return for some directions.

The youngster walked off and reported the incident to their parents.

In the second case, 40 minutes earlier, a teenager had got into a silver car they thought was a taxi.

The driver, an Asian man in his late 30s and wearing cream coloured ‘religious’ clothing, then offered to take them shopping.

The youngster rang their parents from the car and the driver let them get out.

Further enquiries by police found a similar occurrence on Monday, July 10 when a teenager had used a car thinking it was a taxi and the driver had offered to take them shopping.

A police spokesman said minicab operators were licensed and cannot stop in public places to offer their services.

They can only legally carry passengers who have booked them in advance.

“Illegal and unlicensed minicabs can be dangerous,” he said. “Passengers don’t know who they are getting in with or what the driver’s motives are.

“We advise that if a car and person fitting the description described in the incidents in Studley are seen, that its reported to police straight away on 101 – giving details of its registration number etc.”

Police say:

* Carry the telephone number of a known and trusted minicab company

• Always pre-book a car through a licensed minicab office

• When booking, ask for the car and driver details and ensure the driver knows what name it was booked under

• Ensure that the car ordered is the one that arrives

• Sit in the rear of the vehicle and carry a mobile phone and a personal safety alarm

• If you feel threatened, ask the driver to stop in a busy area and get out

• Personal safety alarms are designed to shock and disorientate an attacker, giving vital seconds to get away – they are compact and very loud, so that they can be carried discreetly in a pocket or palm of your hand.