DVLA’s Share Driving Licence service is available

From today (19 May 2015) you can view and share your driving licence information online.

From 8 June 2015, the paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence will not be valid and will no longer be issued by DVLA. Further information can be found by visiting our campaign page.

Share Driving Licence service has now moved from private to public beta. This new service allows GB driving licence holders to share their information held at DVLA with others online while ensuring they stay in control of who sees it. Although the Share Driving Licence service is available from today you’ll need to keep hold of your paper counterpart as it remains valid until 8 June 2015.

You can view your driving licence including the vehicle categories you’re entitled to drive and any endorsement or penalty points you may have by using our free View Driving Licence service. You can also use this service to share your driving licence information with a third party such as an employer, vehicle hire company or driving school. Driving licence information shared using Share Driving Licence will only be available with the consent of the driving licence holder.

Generate a code to share your driving licence with a third party

This online alternative to the current paper counterpart has been several months in development. The new sharing feature has been built into the View Driving Licence service on GOV.UK. You can now generate a code to share with a third party. This code can be shared by email, text, face to face or over the phone. There is also an option to print or save a summary of the driving licence information.

source:https://www.gov.uk/government/news/dvlas-share-driving-licence-service-is-available

‘I found a taxi driver in his baffies’ — Fife cabbies told to smarten up

Baffies – a Scottish term for slippers

Taxi drivers across Fife have been criticised for their “shocking” dress sense.

Scruffy drivers wearing slippers and jogging bottoms have been spotted ferrying passengers in west Fife.

Elsewhere, others have been seen in shorts and baseball caps while driving dirty taxis.

Many have been warned that they are flouting the dress code drawn up between Fife Council and the local taxi associations and have been told in no uncertain terms to pull their socks up.

Councillor Bob Young, chairman of the council’s licensing and regulation committee, which oversees taxi standards, said the state of many drivers’ clothing is a real “bugbear” of his.

“I found a taxi driver in his baffies, jogging bottoms and a T-shirt in Dunfermline,” he said. “He was doing everything else right – helping an old lady out of the taxi etc.”

He added: “You can get a decent pair of trousers out of Tesco for £6, for goodness’ sake.”

Fife Council’s licensing enforcement officer, Donald Jenks, said there were some very good examples of drivers turning up smartly dressed but others are continuing to wear inappropriate clothing.

Asked if he could write to operators and issue a polite request for drivers to smarten up, Mr Jenks said: “I do write to them but I don’t necessarily write politely.

“I say: you’re not meeting the dress code and I expect better.”

Meanwhile, taxi drivers condemned last year for putting passengers at risk have improved their standards.

A year ago, 19 taxis in north-east Fife were pulled off the road after serious defects were found during annual inspection tests by council officers.

This year’s tests found significant improvements, with 96% of taxis passing with flying colours and the rest passing on a retest.

Operators in west Fife maintained their good results with a 97% first-time pass rate and the remainder meeting standards when retested.

North-east Fife councillor John Docherty said he is pleased with the improvements.

“I’m absolutely delighted with these figures compared to some of the previous results,” he said.

“However, we really need to be very firm with the ones who continue to fail.”

Last year’s failures included a car with a speedometer that was clearly not working.

Another had a broken exhaust system and a kinked brake pipe, while a third was found to have a catalogue of defects including a flat spare wheel, a torn wiper blade and problems with the brake pedal.

source: http://www.thecourier.co.uk/

Witness stunned by babies in minicab boot

A SHOCKED member of the public said two women travelling in a mini bus allowed their minicab driver to drive with their two babies in the boot – still in their pram.

Yesterday morning a man said two women with three babies boarded a mini bus outside Limehurst Primary School, Limeside. He said two babies were in a double pram and the other in a single.

He explained: “The driver folded up the single pram and put it into the back of the mini-bus, and one of the women took the baby into the bus with her.

“Then the driver lifted the double pram, with the babies still in it, into the boot, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. He drove the mini-bus and I saw the babies inside. I’m not sure who disgusted me more, the driver or the mum.”

A picture of the mini-bus was uploaded to social media, where it was seen by Oldham Council which said it would investigate immediately. The council has asked both the driver and the witness to its offices

source: http://www.oldham-chronicle.co.uk/

Uber seeks Boris Johnson meeting over minicab plans

6938705977_0d226702c4_oUber says smart technology helps to move people around London efficiently

The car-booking phone app firm Uber has requested a meeting with Boris Johnson about his proposals to “take action” against minicabs in London.

Last week he called for action against the threat posed by the “massive increase” of private hire vehicles.

Jo Bertram at Uber said the answer to London’s traffic problems was not to “limit licences and jobs”, which she said would push up prices.

A spokesperson for the mayor said he was “not on an Uber witch-hunt”.

Ms Bertram said that limiting licences and jobs would also “force people back into their own cars, causing more congestion and pollution”.

‘Doesn’t make sense’

She said: “This is why smart technology like Uber is so important as it ensures modern, clean vehicles can move lots more people around the city efficiently.”

Ms Bertram said she wanted to work with the mayor to improve transport and keep the capital moving.

A spokesperson for City Hall said: “This [tackling the number of private hire cabs] is about London being able to provide a high-quality minicab and black cab trade for London, which isn’t eroding key objectives such as keeping traffic moving and cleaning up our air.‎”

The spokesperson said it did not matter who the drivers work for, saying: “It just doesn’t make sense to have such a large number of minicab drivers in the capital.”

source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/

Mayor seeks new powers over private hire trade and unsafe pedicabs‎

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, today pledged to push for new powers to enable him to cap the number of Private Hire Vehicles in the capital.
 
The Mayor has also confirmed he will be seeking powers over unsafe and unregulated pedicabs and rickshaws on the streets of London’s West End.
 
The Mayor, who has received clear advice from Transport for London, will be pressing for Primary Legislation from the Government to enable TfL to cap the number of Private Hire Vehicle drivers operating in the capital, which are rising by more than 1,000 each month.
 
Currently there are 78,690 minicab drivers in London and over the past year that number has risen by 12,268. At this rate, over the next two years, there will be an additional 26,526 minicab drivers – bringing the total number to more than 105,000. 
 
The growth of private hire vehicle drivers in the last 18 months (from December 2013 to date) is approximately 18%. The Mayor is concerned that this unprecedented rise in numbers is causing increased congestion, particularly in central London, as well as more pollution and problems of illegal parking.
 
The Mayor is of the firm view that London must be able to cap the number of minicab drivers – however, currently Transport for London does not have the ability to do so. He will, therefore, be seeking legislation to give the capital that power.
 
In a separate move, the Mayor will press to obtain powers over the regulation of pedicabs. The Mayor believes these vehicles jam up roads in the West End and unnecessarily and consistently fail to ensure the safety of their passengers. Uniquely, London is not currently able to restrict or regulate pedicabs in any way, unlike the rest of the country.
 
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “We must be able to take action against the threat posed by the massive increase we are seeing in the number of private hire vehicles. There are only 25,000 black cabs and 8,000 buses in London and yet there are already over 75,000 minicabs and rising. We’re starting to see a threat to free movement of traffic on the roads. 
 
“What we are proposing therefore is legislation, which I will be looking to take forward in Parliament, to restrict the number of minicabs that can come on the streets. 
 
“We will also be seeking powers for TfL over pedicabs – which so far have been completely immune from regulation. These vehicles jam up the roads and consistently fail to ensure the safety of their passengers.”
 
Notes to editor
 
Increase in private hire driver numbers in recent years:
 
2009/2010 59,191
2010/2011 61,200
2011/2012 64,063
2012/2013 66,975
2013/2014 65,656
2014/2015 76,249
 
Examples of traffic/parking congestion spots include:
 
West End (Piccadilly, Mayfair, Leicester Square) during Thursday, Fridays and Saturday nights and residential streets around Heathrow.
 
Particular streets/locations include:
 
St Pancras International
Dover Street
Berkeley St/Dover St
Piccadilly/Shaftesbury Avenue/Swallow Street and Wardour Street
Portman Square and Grosvenor Place
Knightsbridge/Hyde Park Corner
Edgware Road/ Marylebone (includes both Praed Street (Paddington Station), Star Street, Bryanston Sq and Marylebone Road).
Charing Cross Road/ Leicester Square
Camden High Street
Greenwich around 02
Clapham High St
 
The Mayor is seeking to include the legislation in a London Bill in this year’s Queen’s speech.
 
TfL currently has a major private hire review ongoing and will start making changes later this year. This includes an English language requirement and better geographic knowledge requirements for minicab drivers.
 
Tfl is also increasing its enforcement against touting and other illegal activity, working with the Metropolitan Police Service to target known hotspots and better responding to real-time information to take swift action against touting, for example.

Oct 15

Route to driving a taxi may get harder

IN London the taxi drivers do “The Knowledge” – a test of their ability to find their way around the capital.

It can take years to get to know the city and trainee drivers can be seen pottering around the centre of the city on mopeds, maps clipped in front of them, learning the streets and short cuts.

Soon Mendip’s taxi drivers could have to have a similar grounding in the district’s streets and villages.

The district council wants to introduce a new “Knowledge” scheme, which would be undertaken by anyone who wants a taxi licence.

In recent years the council hasds been flooded with applications for would-be cabbies, many of whom would not be seen on the local streets.

This is because the number of taxi licences in Bristol and Bath is limited – but by obtaining a licence in Mendip the taxi drivers can operate in the cities.

Mendip licences are different to those issued in other areas – a Mendip taxi licence allows drivers to be hackney carriage drivers, to be hailed in the street, and to be private hire drivers, booked over the telephone, known in some locations as minicabbing.

If the proposals are approved Mendip drivers will have to pay £20 and pass a numeracy assessment, and display a knowledge and awareness of Mendip’s driver and vehicle conditions and relevant legislation.

Drivers would also have to take part in an assessment of comprehension and judgment, show they had good geographical knowledge of the area and show they had a basic mechanical/vehicle safety knowledge.

The applicant’s use of and command of English language would also be assessed so they could show they could understand directions, communicate with the passenger where there was a disagreement over a fare and understand a direction from a public official.

Taxi drivers will also have to pass the Driving Standards agency Taxi test and have a higher standard of medical assessment.

The proposals will go before Mendip’s licensing panel tonight, October 10.

Read more: http://www.thisissomerset.co.uk/

Oct 14

Eight year ban for Liverpool minicab boss

THE boss of a Liverpool minicab business which failed owing more than £225,000 to HMRC has been disqualified from acting as a director for eight years.

Lee Michael Battle, 38, the sole director of Yorkspeed Ltd, which traded as City Kabs, was pursued by the Insolvency Service for failing to pay tax or keep proper accounting records.

It launched an investigation after Croxteth-based City Kabs, which began trading in 2006, was placed into creditors’ voluntary liquidation in April 2011.

The investigation found that Mr Battle had not provided sufficient information to the liquidator to explain more than £700,000 cash withdrawals, over £40,000 of bank transfers and more than £13,500 of cheques, between August 2009 and March 2011.

The Insolvency Service said he also failed to explain why the company made lump sum payments of over £40,000 each to both himself and a family member.

A Disqualification Order was made in Liverpool County Court on September 20 banning Mr Battle until 2021.

Robert Clarke, head of Insolvent Investigations North, at the Insolvency Service, said: “Directors who operate cash-based businesses have to maintain sufficient records to explain where the money has gone, and following insolvency make sure that such records are delivered up for scrutiny by the relevant bodies.

“By failing to do this, HMRC cannot be sure that all funds received by the company were used for legitimate purposes.”

source: http://www.thebusinessdesk.com/

Oct 14

Minicab fears slammed as “scaremongering”

6938705977_0d226702c4_oA FORMER Halesowen councillor claims private hire drivers are breaking the law by plying for hire from late-night revellers.

Adrian Turner said he was “horrified” when he was stopped five times as he walked home from Stourbridge in the early hours and fears Dudley Council is not enforcing the rules stringently.

The driving instructor, whose father Councllior Ken Turner is an opposition member of the taxis committee, said private hire drivers who picked up passengers without bookings were not insured.

He also believes passengers, especially young women, could be lured into vehicles by sex attackers believing them to be taxi drivers.

Mr Turner said: “I have a daughter in her early 20s and another who is 18 this year and they know the rules about taxis, but their friends do not know.”

He fears if bonafide drivers ply for hire, passengers, especially young women, could be lured into the arms of attackers, mistakingly believing they were getting into a taxi.

“This has happened in other parts of the country – it only has to happen once and I believe it is a real possibility,” added Mr Turner.

But taxis committee chairman Cllr Richard Body hit back, accusing the ex Tory councillor of “scaremongering for political ends”.

The Labour councillor denied that plying for trade was going on in the borough and called upon Mr Turner to back up his allegations with evidence.

Cllr Body said: “Officers carry out the same amount of enforcement as they always have.”

He added: “Dudley borough, compared with other local authorities of a similar size, is one of the safest for taxis in England and Wales.

“Since my time on the taxi committee from 2006, we now have less “taxi” drivers committing ply for hire than ever and since becoming chairman in May 2012 only one.”

He said this was due to the work he had done with drivers to stop the practice.

source: http://www.halesowennews.co.uk/

Oct 14

Wolverhampton minicab firm’s licence revoked over uninsured cars

6938705977_0d226702c4_oA minicab firm has had its licence revoked after it was discovered to be collecting people in uninsured cars.

Westside Radio Cars – based in Wolverhampton – had four uninsured cars and an insurance anomaly on another vehicle.

It came to light after an investigation by council bosses into the Stafford Street firm, which found that it had jeopardised public safety.

The local authority’s licensing sub-committee met to discuss the Westside case and elected to revoke its licence.

The committee heard evidence that the company had also used cars that were unlicenced.

Councillor John Reynolds, city services boss at the council, said public safety would not be compromised.

He added: “Ensuring public safety is of paramount importance for the council when licensing taxi drivers, vehicles and operators.

“The council does not take decisions such as revoking the licence of an existing business lightly and our licensing staff work hard to support operators to ensure they meet the relevant requirements.

“However, the safety of the public must not be compromised and when that is put at risk, we will not hesitate to take action.”

The company has 21 days to appeal the decision to the magistrates court and can still trade during this time, pending any subsequent appeal.

Westside declined to comment on having its licence revoked.

It comes just days after taxi bosses in the city held showdown talks with the council on plans for older Hackney Carriages to be used on the city’s streets.

Taxi drivers last week said they were frustrated at the council’s refusal to budge on a policy to allow licences for older cars in Wolverhampton.

They claimed there were already too many taxis in the city and fear that allowing older vehicles would make the situation worse.

New Hackney Carriage drivers would be allowed to buy taxis up to four years old under the plans – with that increasing to six years in 2015.

Parminder Sekhon, chairman of Wolverhampton Taxi Owners’ Association, said any such move would lessen the quality of taxis in the city.

Last year drivers held a go-slow protest around the city centre with almost 100 taxis flooding the streets.

That was over controversial plans to increase the number of black cabs in Wolverhampton.

source: http://www.expressandstar.com/

Oct 12

Seven years for Swadlincote minicab office rapist

Humza Mahmood, 19, to be a danger to women

A MINICAB worker was jailed yesterday for raping a woman – after being stopped in a similar attack three years ago.

Judge John Burgess declared Humza Mahmood, 19, to be a danger to women and locked him up for seven years. The 23-year-old victim was left terrified and needs a panic alarm at her home.

She was sexually assaulted and raped by Mahmood, who was working in the offices of his uncle’s firm, Alpha Cars, in Swadlincote, early on March 30.

Judge Burgess said the case was made worse because a youth rehabilitation order had been imposed on Mahmood in May last year for a sexual assault on another women when he was aged around 17.

Mahmood was convicted of rape after a four-day trial at Derby Crown Court and was sentenced after reports had been compiled. The judge told him: “This is the sort of offence which causes terrible harm to women who are subjected to this kind of attack.

“I only hope the lady concerned can put the trial process at last behind her and that may help her move on.

“There is a history. You committed a sexual assault in August 2010 in similar circumstances as this and this is very significant.

“It is quite plain you represent a significant risk of causing really serious harm to women. I considered whether a life sentence was appropriate.”

Mahmood, of Thrift Road, Branston, will not be considered for parole until he is two-thirds of the way through the sentence and may not be freed until the end of the seven-year term. After that he will be on licence for five years.

The jury was told he forced his victim to give him oral sex after following her outside where she had gone for a cigarette while waiting for a minicab.

In 2010, another woman arrived asking for a minicab and he dragged her into his office where he exposed himself. Two men arrived seeking a cab and the offence ended.

Grace Hale, prosecuting, said: “This shows a tendency to attack lone women who come into the office looking for a minicab.”

The rape victim arrived at Alpha Cars after another minicab firm had let her down. Mahmood said she would have to wait 30 minutes for a cab and followed her outside when she needed a cigarette.

They kissed and the sex attack took place when he followed her into the office toilets.

Mrs Hale said: “She suffers from recurring nightmares as a result of the incident and had to have a panic alarm placed at her house to safeguard her welfare. She continues to use minicabs to go to and from work but constantly telephones her mother through the course of those journeys.”

The earlier attack was on a 49-year-old woman he followed outside when she went for a cigarette, the jury was told.

Heidi Kubik, for Mahmood, told the court: “He is still a young man, only just 19, and was 18 at the time of the commission of this offence.
“He is now in custody. He is going to be punished with custody for some further period.

“He will get the opportunity to hopefully mature and become more receptive to help.”

source: http://www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk/

Oct 11

Black cab drivers could be getting illegal state aid

The ruling could ultimately mean the right to use London’s roads could be decided across the Channel in a Luxembourg-based court

Drivers of the capital’s 25,000 black cabs could be illegally receiving state aid, according to the Court of Appeal.

Part of minicab operator Addison Lee’s legal battle to win the same rights to use bus lanes as London’s iconic black taxis is heading for the European Court of Justice after the British court asked for a ruling on European anti-competition law.

The court has requested a European ruling on whether “making a bus lane on a public road available to black cabs but not minicabs, during the hours of operation of that bus lane, involves the use of ‘State resources’ of Article 107 (1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union”.

This is the section of the European Treaty originally intended to stop member nations from illegally supporting their major industries to give them advantages over other nations It was used to force RBS to sell hundreds of bank branches as a condition of its huge state bail-out during the financial crisis.

The ruling could ultimately mean the right to use London’s roads could be decided across the Channel in the Luxembourg-based court.

Addison Lee, through its subsidiary Eventech, has been fighting with Transport for London (TfL) for several years to win equal rights to black cabs. In April the battle reached the Court of Appeal with a ruling now awaited.

However, only in recent weeks have documents been officially released which revealed the court wanted a European decision on state aid.

A spokesman for Addison Lee said: “We are pleased that the matter has been referred to the European Courts as we believe that the current legislation is a breach of the EU and UK law. You can’t discriminate between two types of taxis and we are pleased to have the opportunity to continue the fight against this injustice.”

TfL was unavailable for comment.

source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/

Oct 11

Prison officer hurled racist abuse at minicab driver on night out

Guilty: Prison guard found guilty of hurling racist abuse after trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court

A prison officer is set to lose his job after being convicted of hurling racist abuse at an Asian minicab driver and damaging his car.

Moray Walker, 50, used highly derogatory and racist language towards Mohammed Tanveer, 40, after the driver refused to pick him up after a boozy night out at Edinburgh’s Prison Officers Club.

The city’s sheriff court heard how Mr Walker, who supervises inmates at HMP Saughton, leaned through the driver’s window upon being knocked back.

He then asked Mr Tanveer “why don’t you go home?” and struck out at his victim’s motor, damaging the car door.

The story emerged following a trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Friday in which Mr Walker was found guilty of committing a racially aggravated breach of the peace on March 18.

Walker, of Edinburgh, had entered a not guilty plea and claimed that he would never use racist language towards a fellow human being.

The prison guard said that Mr Tanveer had insulted his wife. But Sheriff Neil McKinnon said that there was enough evidence available to prove that Walker had broken the law.

Another minicab driver, Brett McCarthy, told the court that he was in his car waiting for a fare nearby when he witnessed the shocking incident.

Deferring sentence for reports, Sheriff MacKinnon said: “I have decided that I can treat the Crown evidence as being credible and reliable.”

During the trial, Mr Tanveer, a private hire driver, told the court that he was on duty in the early hours of March 18.

He said he was parked close to the Prison Officers Club waiting for his radio controller to tell him where to go to pick up fares.

He said that Mr Walker came to his car and asked him to take him home.

Mr Tanveer said that he couldn’t because being a private hire driver meant that he wasn’t allowed to collect fares from off the street.

Mr Tanveer said that Mr Walker started shouting racist abuse at him shortly afterwards.

He added: “He used swearing. He was saying words like ‘b*****d’. He was also using racist language. He said ‘you p**i b*****d’. He also said ‘you black b*****d’.

“He also asked me why I came here and why I wasn’t going back. He then leaned through the open window and tried to grab me. I was scared – that’s why I phoned the police.”

The court heard that the attack was witnessed by another cab driver, Brett McCarthy, who was sitting close by.

The 27-year-old said that he could see Murray acting in a menacing way towards Mr Tanveer.

Giving evidence, Mr Walker denied committing a breach of the peace and told the court that he believed that Mr Tanveer was conspiring against him.

He said that at the time of the incident, he was under a lot of stress and that he would never use racist language or act in an offensive fashion.

He added: “I never use racist language.”

However, Sheriff MacKinnon said he preferred the evidence of Mr Tanveer and Mr McCarthy to the evidence given by the defence.

He found Mr Walker guilty of committing the racially aggravated breach of the peace and deferred sentence so the court could obtain reports about the prison officer’s character.

Speaking after conviction, defence advocate Mark Moir told Sheriff MacKinnon that the conviction would lead to his client losing his £28,000 a year job.

Mr Moir also said that the father of one had no previous criminal convictions and was suffering from stress at the time of the incident.

Mr Moir added: “His employment is in some jeopardy. I would urge your lord to impose a monetary penalty. He currently earns £28,000 per annum – he takes home around £1,700 per month after tax.

“There is some fairly catastrophic knock on effects which will have on the impact on the rest of his life.”

Murray will be sentenced at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on November 8 2013.

source: http://news.stv.tv/

Oct 11

Portsmouth Taxi Drivers Warned Over Cyclist Scam

A taxi driver’s been targeted by robbers, after a cyclist pretended he’d been hit by his car in Portsmouth.

Police are appealing for possible groups of witnesses to come forward after the 39-year-old man was robbed in the Fratton area.

The driver was turning from Clydebank Road into Gamble Road shortly before 10.30pm on Friday 4 October when a cyclist came off his bike in front of the taxi.

Police say initial enquiries have established there was no contact between the cyclist and the taxi.

The driver stopped, left his taxi, and was then threatened by the cyclist and another two men.

The victim received injuries to his face when he was punched by the men who also demanded money and removed the keys from the ignition of the taxi.

£10 in cash was stolen and they made off into Nessus Street, but one man came back to retrieve the bicycle.

The three suspects are believed to be aged in their late teens to early 20s, all of medium build and around 5 ft 8 ins tall.

One man was described as black, with black frizzy hair and wearing a red top. He was riding a blue mountain bike.

The other two men were white; one of them was wearing a light-coloured top.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Pete Bugden said:

“This was a cowardly planned attack targeting a taxi driver who was working.

“Further enquiries have established there were witnesses in the area at the time of the robbery. Six people were walking along Gamble Road in a group, including a blonde woman in a light top, a man on a bicycle and a young child, possibly aged around five.

“A vehicle stopped behind the taxi at the time. Assistance from the occupants of that vehicle is sought in particular.”

source: http://www.heart.co.uk/

Oct 10

Passenger who held knife to Huddersfield minicab driver’s throat is jailed for four years

Calvin Peter Crosse who has really dodgy eyebrows

Leeds Crown Court heard today Alan Nawzad had collected Calvin Peter Crosse from outside HD Cars in Cross Church Street in the early hours of March 10

A minicab driver was subjected to a terrifying 30 minute ordeal when he was ordered to drive around Huddersfield after being threatened with a knife by a passenger who claimed to be a gangster.

Leeds Crown Court heard today Alan Nawzad had collected Calvin Peter Crosse from outside HD Cars in Cross Church Street in the early hours of March 10.

Crosse who sat in the front passenger seat, was bleeding from an injury on his left cheek and was eating a takeaway and drinking from a can. He was immediately aggressive towards Mr Nawzad calling him names and telling him he was “a gangster.”

But it was in Bradford Road when he saw a police van behind the minicab he suddenly produced a knife and held it to Mr Nawzad’s throat telling him to “drive”.

Martin Sharpe prosecuting said Mr Nawzad was directed to drive around the Fartown and Deighton areas fearing for his life. During the journey Crosse punched him to the back of his head and shoulders.

At one stage they saw the police van again and Mr Nawzad put on his hazard warning lights hoping to be spotted but was not seen.

Crosse told the driver to stop in Woodham Avenue where he said he was going to kill him but was then directed to drive off again.

Mr Sharpe said Crosse then suddenly pulled on the handbrake while the vehicle was moving causing it to spin. When it came to a halt he once more pressed the knife to the driver’s throat at which point the terrified Mr Nawzad said he would give him anything he wanted.

His passenger asked for money and after handing over £150 managed to get out the vehicle and flee after calling his base for help.

Mr Sharpe told the court Crosse also left the area but was linked by DNA to a can he left in the minicab and also through CCTV footage at a takeaway near the minicab firm where he was seen in a skirmish with another man outside causing his cheek injury.

Adam Birkby representing Crosse said he was under a suspended sentence at the time for driving offences and had panicked when he saw the police van thinking he might have breached that because of his earlier fight.

He had drunk a “staggering” amount and wanted to publicly apologise for his actions to the driver accepting he must have been terrified.
Crosse, 25 of Riddings Close, Sheepridge, was jailed for a total of four years three months after admitting having an offensive weapon, making a threat to kill, theft and breach of the suspended sentence.

Jailing him Judge Guy Kearl QC said the minicab driver was vulnerable because he was alone, simply doing his duty as a public servant.
Having told him where to go Crosse became abusive asking “if he knew” who he was and saying he was a gangster and then when he saw the police van producing a knife holding it to the driver’s throat and telling him to drive on.

“That was an incredibly dangerous thing to do. This ordeal lasted something like 30 minutes it must have seemed like an age to Mr Nawzad. He was no doubt terrified and believed you were going to use the knife put to his throat, on several occasions.”

source: http://www.examiner.co.uk/

Oct 10

Siege on taxi driver’s cab ‘like a scene from Grand Theft Auto’

A GANG of 30 revellers laid siege to a taxi driver’s cab in a scene “just like Grand Theft Auto”.

The driver today told the Grimsby Telegraph he has had enough of assaults, fare dodgers and abuse and will quit the job he has held for four years.

His ultimatum came as we highlighted a brutal attack on another taxi driver just hours before this one in the High Street, Cleethorpes.

The 30-year-old driver, who did not wish to be identified for fear of reprisals, came forward after reading our front page story about an attack on a taxi driver in Danesfield Avenue, Waltham, on the same night. He said: “Enough is enough. I am not going to put up with drink and drug-fuelled maniacs ruining my life.”

He told how the violence flared at about 5.20am on Sunday after he refused to take six men in his vehicle, as it is licensed to carry only four.

Instead, there was another customer waiting for a taxi, who got into the back.

He explained: “The group became abusive, so I reversed away but they started kicking and punching the cab. They went nuts. Then a load of other people joined in. There were about 30 of them. It was like something out of Grand Theft Auto (the violent computer game).

“I have never seen anything like that before.”

After leaving the area and contacting the police, he went back to take some video footage on his mobile phone, which can be viewed below. There is no evidence that those in the footage carried out the assault.

The police are now investigating the incident.

“I don’t want to do this any more,” he said.

“I try to live by the law of the land, but you are up against imbeciles.

“I think there’s a Saturday night culture which is being driven by drugs. They are going cuckoo. There have been 17 and 18-year-old girls threatening to rip my head off.”

Earlier that night, the driver said someone refused to pay their fare after being dropped off in Haycroft Street, Grimsby.

“This sort of thing is escalating,” he said. “The police need to take this matter seriously. They say it is a civil matter if someone doesn’t pay, but we are taking drink and drug-fuelled people.

“A brick was thrown at my cab window two years ago and there is always lots of abuse.

“But this is the worst I have ever had.”

The 18-year-old passenger in the back of the cab was “terrified” by the ordeal.

She said: “People came running up shouting racist abuse and booting the taxi.

“There was a girl standing in the road at the front of the taxi, so he could not drive away.

“It was like a scene from a horror movie.

“He reversed and drove around the corner and I waited as he called the police.

“I was shocked and disgusted. They were all in their late teens or early 20s.”

A Humberside Police spokeswoman appealed for witnesses to contact police.

She said: “The driver of the vehicle was not injured in any way and the vehicle sustained a small number of dents.

“This incident appears to be isolated and officers have spoken to a number of taxi companies to offer advice and support.”

Witnesses to the incident are asked to contact Humberside Police by calling 101, quoting crime reference 2002112.

Read more: http://www.thisisgrimsby.co.uk/

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