The dark nights are truly here and the festive season is about to start, with work parties and family gatherings.
Everywhere has the potential to be a crime hotspot, even in taxis and minicabs.
But there are a few simple steps you can take to prevent falling victim.
- know the difference between a Green Cab and a Minicab
A Green Cab legally allowed to stop when hailed by you, but with a (#CCwordofCaution) be very vigilant in-light of recent activities here in Nottingham. We ask that you make a note of the Registration and License number.
A minicab, all should be license by the local authority and plated, but can only be pre-booked, by phone, website or app. They can't be hailed off the streets and if you do so, 1st the drivers is breaking the law and 2nd he has no insurance protection in the case of an accident.
What also confusing here in the Nottingham, is that there are a few minicabs, that displays a TAXI top sign, these cars are only taxis in their respective borough, as soon as they enter the city, they are minicabs so therefore needs to be pre-booked. Many drivers are taking advantage of this, which is unsafe for all.
- Make sure you only travel in a licensed cab. This should either be a "Hackney Carriage" (the London style green cabs) or a private hire vehicle (like a CloudCar. A private hire vehicle can be either a family size car or a people carrier, but it must also have a licence plate.
- An unlicensed cab will not have a licence plate, so look for this before you get in the vehicle. The licence plate will also have Rushcliffe Borough Council or Nottingham City Council logo on it.
- You should never flag a car down in the street, you may be getting into an illegal, uninsured vehicle which could be potentially very dangerous. A hackney cab that is for hire will have an illuminated (usually orange) sign on the roof of the vehicle which indicates that it is for hire.
- If possible pre-book your taxi and ask for the call/text back facility, if it is available. When the taxi arrives, always make sure that the vehicle is from the taxi company that you called. It should have the company's logo clearly displayed. Check the driver is wearing an identification badge, there may also be one on display at the front of the vehicle or on the partition between the driver and passengers.
- When ringing for a taxi make sure no-one can overhear you give personal details such as your name and address, because anyone could turn up and pretend to be your driver.
- Make sure you have enough money to pay for your journey or pre-book using your credit/debit card or via app. Ask the driver how much the fare will be before you start the journey to avoid any difficulty or embarrassment. It is a criminal offence to hire a taxi without the means to pay the fare. The taxi driver is within his / her right to take call the police if you are unable to pay the full fare.
- Let someone know you are in the vehicle and on your way. Let them have the taxi licence number and if possible, make sure someone is waiting for you at your destination. The number of the licence will be on display in the vehicle, as well as on the plate on the rear of the vehicle.
- If you chat to the driver, make sure you don’t give out any of your personal details.
- Never share a taxi with a stranger.
- If you feel threatened or uncomfortable for any reason, ask the driver to stop in a busy area, pay your fare and get out of the car and report to the police.