In London alone, recent statistics show that 11 women are attacked each month after taking an unlicensed minicab. 80% of stranger rapes are committed by unlicensed cab drivers.
Always look for the cab licence number, phone number printed on the side, and discs in the front and back windows to see if it the minicab that you ordered. If you didn’t order one, don’t get in it; even if it is a licensed minicab. They should not be touting for business off the street.
Taxi Safety Tips Always used a licensed taxi.
Plan ahead. When going out, make sure you know how you are going to get back home and who you are going home with. It is better to plan your transport options while you are still sober and have your wits about you. Finding yourself alone miles from home at 2:30 in the morning is a situation you want to avoid.
Book in advance.
Pre-booking a taxi will avoid last-minute desperate decisions. Book with a known firm that someone you know uses regularly. Try and find a service that uses text or call-back to let you know when the taxi is arriving.
Keep taxi numbers handy. Keep about three numbers stored in your mobile and keep a separate copy elsewhere in case you lose your phone. If you are out at a venue and do not have any numbers, ask a member of staff to recommend a licensed firm. Do not accept lifts from strangers.
Be discreet. Try not to let strangers overhear you order a cab. If they overhear your details they could pretend to be the taxi you ordered.
Find out the price. Get a quote for the cab fair over the phone so that you can set aside enough money. Private hire minicabs are not required to have meters and there are no price limits, so always confirm the price again before getting in.
Get vehicle details. When booking, ask if they can tell you the colour and make of car as well as the cab driver’s name.
Let someone know. If you are travelling to meet a friend, let them know the name of the company, where you are being picked up from and what time you expect to get there.
Make sure it’s your cab. When they arrive, ask them to confirm the booking details. Ask who it is for; don’t say “is this the cab for ____?” Check their ID to make sure it’s from the company you ordered. If you feel unsure about a driver, just don’t get in.
Sit in the back. Choose the seat behind the driver as this puts you the furthest out of reach. If a group of you are taking the taxi, ensure that the last person who will get out sits there. Keep your belongings about your person.
Mind your mouth. If you chat to the driver, don’t reveal any personal information. Just stick to general topics.
Use your mobile. If you feel nervous, phone a friend (or pretend to). This will make it less likely for anything to occur. If you are seriously concerned, phone the police immediately.
When you have arrived, ask the driver to wait until you are indoors. They should be happy to do this so that you use their service more often.