Festive campaign focuses on ensuring revellers get home safe
As the festive season gets into full swing, Transport for London (TfL) is launching its annual Safer Travel at Night (STaN) campaign, reminding the public of the dangers of unbooked minicabs and providing advice on how to safely get a taxi (black cab) or booked minicab home this Christmas and New Year.
Working alongside the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and City of London Police (CoLP), TfL's enforcement team - which will quadruple to more than 300 officers by next Summer - will be stepping up their activity to crack down on unbooked minicabs and other illegal activity by targeting priority locations across the Capital.
Officers will also be engaging with revellers to remind them of the importance of planning their journeys home, speaking particularly to those who may be tempted to take an unbooked minicab after a night out.
TfL's advice to the public is clear - getting into a minicab that is not booked is dangerous. It is essentially getting into a stranger's car.
Use a black cab or book the journey through a licensed minicab operator, via a booking app, phone, email or in the minicab office. Minicab operators will have a record of the journey, the driver and the vehicle used so, in the event of any problems, the driver can be traced. Before starting their journey, passengers should also receive vehicle details as well as driver information, including a photo.
As well as reminding the public of how they can stay safe, TfL officers will be speaking directly to minicab operators, reminding them of their responsibilities towards passenger safety.
Steve Burton, TfL's Director of Enforcement and On-Street Operations, said: `We want people to enjoy themselves this festive season, but also stay safe. Working alongside the Police our enforcement teams will be dealing with any illegal taxi or minicab activity and speaking to passengers, drivers and minicab operators to help ensure everyone gets home safely. People should always plan their journey home and if using a minicab, make sure it's booked with a licensed operator, if it's not, it's essentially a stranger's car. These drivers are breaking the law and putting you at risk.'
Detective Supt. Adnan Qureshi, from the Metropolitan Police Service's Roads and Transport Policing Command, said: `Our dedicated taxi and private hire policing officers are at the forefront of tackling illegal taxi and private hire activity and will be out on the streets targeting predatory touts. The officers will be conducting patrols and operations in support of Safer Travel at Night to detect, disrupt and deter criminal activity.
`Thousands of people in the capital take black cabs and minicabs home in the evening, particularly after a night out. We want to make sure you get home safely so if you're planning to use a minicab, make sure it's booked. If it's not booked, it's illegal and it's not safe.'
Inspector David Aspinall from City of London Police Transport and Highways Operations Group, said: `Travelling in the City at night using taxis or minicabs is very safe, and our Safer Transport Team works closely with TfL and the Metropolitan Police to continue making it even safer.
`This Christmas, we will be supporting Safer Travel at Night with patrols and operational activity. We have increased the number of compliance checks that we undertake on drivers and vehicles to help keep you safe. You can also help yourself keep safe by making sure to always get a black cab or book a minicab through a licensed operator, and ensure the one you get in is the one you ordered, don't leave it to chance at the end of the night.'
Advice for using a black cab:
- Black cabs (taxis) are different to minicabs, they can be approached on the street or at taxi ranks.
- Black cabs do not need to be pre-booked, but can be via app, phone or online.
Advice for using a minicab:
- A minicab that is not booked is dangerous. It is essentially a stranger's car.
- Book your minicab journey through a licensed minicab operator, via a booking app, phone, email or at a minicab office.
- When booking a minicab, you should receive a confirmation highlighting driver and vehicle details as well as the driver's photo.
- Private Hire operators will have a record of the journey, the driver and the vehicle used so, in the event of any problems, the driver can be traced.
Notes to Editors:
- Further information regarding the Safer Travel at Night campaign can be found here: tfl.gov.uk/campaign/safer-travel
- In August TfL announced it would be quadrupling its Taxi and Private Hire enforcement team, further information: tfl.gov.uk/info-for/media/news-articles/crack-down-on-illegal-taxis-and-minicabs
- In September the Mayor and TfL published the Taxi and private Hire Action Plan 2016, which can be found here: content.tfl.gov.uk/taxi-and-private-hire-action-plan-2016.pdf
- Last week, TfL published the Metropolitan Police Service and City of London Police Taxi and Private Hire journey-related sexual offences figures which can be found here: tfl.gov.uk/corporate/safety-and-security/security-on-the-network/tph-related-sexual-offences
- Customers can report issues or make comment on their journeys in London's taxi and private hire vehicles online at tfl.gov.uk/forms/12396.aspx or by calling 0343 222 4000 (08:00-18:00 Monday to Friday - closed on Bank Holidays)