Remember Kids, Always Say ‘No’ To Illegal Minicabs

Remember Kids, Always Say ‘No’ To Illegal Minicabs

Remember Kids, Always Say ‘No’ To Illegal Minicabs

Don’t use unbooked minicabs. It’s a simple message, but it bears repeating. Which is why, around this time each year, the Safer Travel at Night initiative repeats it with a series of adverts.

This year’s campaign, backed by the Mayor, the Met, the City of London Police and TfL, is the most hard-hitting yet. The short information film, screened in cinemas from today, is of the ‘shock ‘em to save ‘em’ stable, previously used to memorable effect for anti-drink driving and speeding campaigns. Here we see a young female tempted into an illegal minicab with horrendous consequences.

The message is unambiguous. Only ‘black cabs’ are legally able to pick up passengers without a booking. Anything else is illegal, possibly uninsured, and potentially very dangerous. (We’ve had our own dodgy experience – a North Finchley sleazeball driver offered one Londonist writer £500 for sex.) Partly thanks to the annual campaign, the number of attacks has almost halved in six years, but the risk is still there.

The cinema advert runs across London from today and for the next four weeks, and will be shown on TV from next Thursday. It would be interesting to see figures as to whether these graphic, emotional adverts are more effective than pure information campaigns. Have they become less effective now we’ve all become used to them and, if so, will each campaign have to get steadily more graphic in order to shock?

Remember Kids, Always Say ‘No’ To Illegal Minicabs

Dont jump in unbooked minicabs, Boris warns women partygoers

Dont jump in unbooked minicabs, Boris warns women partygoers

BORIS Johnson launches into the Christmas party season today with a campaign urging women not to jump into minicabs at night which haven’t been pre-booked.

The Mayor is issuing a warning about illegal touting in the sixth annual campaign set up by police and City Hall transport chiefs at the start of the festive season.

Transport for London’s enforcement and policing director Steve Burton warned: “Illegal cabs put women at risk of sexual attack.

“But booking a minicab ensures a record of the trip is kept, where the driver can be traced in the event of any problems.”

The campaign features TV and cinema ads about the risk of sexual assault. Local authorities such as Tower Hamlets in East London are getting behind the campaign.

Council cabinet member Abdal Ullah said: “Getting into an unbooked cab is not worth the risk. It’s illegal and puts personal safety in jeopardy.”

The campaign launched six years ago has led to the number of women taking unbooked cabs dropping by almost 80 per cent, it is estimated, while ‘minicab related’ sex offences have almost halved. It is illegal for minicabs to tout for business on the street or run fares without being booked through a licensed operator.

Only licensed taxis can be hailed in the street or picked up at a rank without booking.