CRIME STATISTICS released by the police show that allegations of sex assaults by taxi and minicab drivers have gone up by 20 per cent in three years.
The Freedom of Information (FOI) request relates to figures revealed by forces in England and Wales and campaigners say the rise might be because more women are willing to report alleged attacks by cab drivers.
Katie Russell, of Rape Crisis England & Wales, said:
It’s an alarming figure but it is always hard to know whether the increase is due to a rise in crime taking place or an increase in sexual assaults being reported. Sexual offences have been massively under-reported so an increase in willingness to report will play some part in the increases.
According to figures published in the Guardian newspaper, at least 337 alleged sex attacks involving cab drivers were reported between April 2016 and March 2017, up from 282 in 2015.
The majority of reports by female passengers were in London, up from 142 attacks to 156, compared to Essex (6-to-12) and Lancashire (11-25).
Figures released by Transport for London show that there were 30 complaints of rape made against taxi and private hire drivers by passengers. No licensed black cab driver was charged however with a sex offence against a customer.
Sarah Green, of End Violence Against Women, said:
These figures should remind those in government that licensing is of the utmost importance for women’s safety. And we need an examination of how we ensure that women undertaking a straightforward taxi journey can know they will be safe.