York & North Yorkshire

Taxi drivers in North Yorkshire to help tackle crime

Taxi drivers in North Yorkshire are being asked to join a scheme to help tackle crime in the area.

Taxi Watch will give drivers across Scarborough, Filey and Whitby direct contact with the borough council's CCTV operation to report incidents.

Taxi drivers will be able to become the "eyes and ears of the town" raising any concerns they may have.

Brian Hall, a taxi driver, said the scheme would not only ensure the public's safety but drivers' too.

The volunteer scheme asks drivers to report any issues they come across, from drunken fighting to concerns over a vulnerable person alone on the street.

Wayne Casey, from the National Taxi Association, said the scheme was a good idea

"Anything the cab and private hire trade can do to help people out is good," he said.

"Anything we can do to improve the safety of cab drivers and reduce the number of violent assaults on cab drivers should we welcomed with open arms."

But Nick Pickles, from Big Brother Watch, said: "Taxi drivers are not police officers. If there is a problem in these town centres it needs to get sorted out.

"If we've lost control of the streets shouldn't we be asking why?

"If something happened before cabbies could ring 999, so what we're doing now is saying rather than just the serious stuff, tell us anything of interest."

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