Investigation uncovers disturbing trend in women being ‘abused’ by taxi drivers

Taxi fares on upward trajectory

With Christmas parties now in full swing, the Times this week publishes an investigation that should act as a warning to all women travelling home by taxi, particularly after nights out in Tunbridge Wells.

This newspaper has uncovered several incidents involving altercations between cab drivers and women. And we believe it to be the tip of an iceberg.

In one case a 23 year old was left lying shocked and bruised in the road, her mobile phone smashed, after allegedly being attacked.

On another occasion a teenager was ‘petrified’ after it was suggested by the driver she could pay for part of the journey by having sex with him.

Two young women were forced to run away from an angry driver after he tried to lock them in the vehicle and charge them more money than agreed for the fare.

And one woman, perhaps summing it all up, told the Times that because of her experiences she had ‘not felt safe in taxis in the town for three or four years.’

Such incidents are not limited to Tunbridge Wells and are almost certainly repeated in towns across the country.

However, the purposes of this investigation is to send a clear message to drivers tempted to take advantage of vulnerable young women: People are aware of your actions and they will not be tolerated.

The vast majority of the 300 cab drivers in Tunbridge Wells borough can be viewed as being safe and reliable. It is a minority who appear
to be involved in such incidents.

The problem for the police and the borough council’s Hackney Carriage Office that licenses drivers, is that most of those who suffer abuse of one kind or another do not register a complaint. They are reluctant to make a fuss.

Until they do, these drivers will think they can get away with it. 

We know it can be difficult, but we would urge people to report these incidents and help make travelling home safer for all women.

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