Call for action after hundreds of taxi drivers attacked in last two years

More than 800 attacks have been carried out on taxi drivers over the last two years in the West Midlands.

Hundreds have taxi drivers have come under attack
Hundreds have taxi drivers have come under attack

Figures showed that taxi drivers remain vulnerable to being targeted, with more than one attacked every day in the region on average.

Attacks on drivers increased slightly this year - 427 compared to 417 in 2018, data released by West Midlands Police revealed.

There have been frequent calls over recent years for increased protection and security for drivers in the region, such as CCTV cameras, from taxi associations who feel their drivers are at risk.

It comes after several shocking incidents during the last couple of years. A taxi driver was slashed across the head with a machete outside the Bradford Arms pub on Pleck Road, Walsall, in May.

Another driver was punched by a customer in Woodside, Dudley, in February who refused to pay the fare, and then tried to set the cab on fire.

Stephen Small, 22, was jailed for four and a half years for the attack.

Other drivers have had their takings stolen after being set upon by customers.

Shaz Saleem, chairman of the Dudley Taxi Association, said the number of attacks on drivers was "alarming".

He also feels many attacks on drivers are not taken seriously enough by the police.

He said: "Drivers go out there to earn a living for their families. They are having to do extra hours and to be in that position where they are being attacked is deeply unfair.

"When incidents are reported it's rare we hear anything back and that just damages confidence in the system.

"Luckily we have been able to get CCTV in cabs and a lot of drivers are starting to utilise it but it's absolutely pointless if police don't look at it or say they can't use it."

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