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Police warn students against unbooked minicabs

By River Reporter Nov 22, 2013

Police warn of the dangers of unbooked cabs

Police have warned students of the dangers of accepting lifts from unmarked taxis in the run-up to the festive season.

Police have engaged with schools and universities to raise awareness in an attempt to crack down on illegal cabs that could present a danger for young people trying to get home.

They said: “Never approach a minicab on the street or accept a fare; they are acting illegally. Even if they are licensed by TfL, only black cabs can pick passengers up on the street without a booking.

“Always book it with a licensed operator, and when it arrives check the driver’s photo identification.”

VP student life, Lizzie Carse, said: “Over the last few years KUSU has been part of a Transport for London campaign called ‘Cabwise’, which raises awareness of the possible risks when using un-booked or unlicensed minicabs, and offers alternatives.”

This winter Transport for London (TfL) helped to crack down on un-booked minicabs with their annual ‘Safer Travel at Night’ campaign which aims to make young people – with a focus on women – aware of the dangers of getting an un-booked minicabs off the street.

The campaign has been running for 10 years, and is aimed at women aged 18-34 who travel after 10pm in London – who are more likely to become a victim of minicab-related sexual offences.


A survey conducted by TfL, for the campaign, found that almost a third of women said that getting home was the priority, and that they didn’t care how they did it.

Tfl echoed the Police’s statement: “Any minicab that isn’t booked through a licensed minicab operator is dangerous and puts you at risk of attack, including sexual assault and robbery.”

In September, Kingston was named the safest borough in London – with individual crime rates falling over the year, including rape which dropped from 60 incidents to 59.

However, sexual offences rose from eight incidents to a staggering 100 reported.

Kingston Council has been running the campaign Safer Kingston Partnership for the last two years with KU to raise awareness about sexual violence.

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