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Taxi Boss Wants Harsher Punishments For Those Who Attack Taxi Drivers

Nick Astley is the boss of Metro Cars in Bolton and is among the many individuals within the industry who are fed up with the constant stream of attacks on taxi drivers. Astley claims that attacks on Bolton drivers occur on a weekly basis but believes that the punishments meted out to convicted offenders are not tough enough to deter them.

Astley also stated that drivers are at risk from assault from almost every element of society. He cited a recent instance where one of his drivers was punched by a female passenger and sustained a bloody nose. This was a mild attack compared to some of the more vicious crimes being committed around the country. It has now got to the stage where taxi drivers are almost totally reliant on help from their fellow cabbies when they get attacked. When a driver is assaulted, he radios for help and other cab drivers come to his/her aid.

Astley spoke about the aforementioned incident with the female passenger and noted that around 25-30 drivers were there when he arrived after receiving a call from the unfortunate driver. He is adamant that the existing sentences are nowhere near strict enough to act as a deterrent and Astley wants longer prison sentences to be handed out. He stated that incidents are happening everywhere rather than being isolated in one city.

It does seem as if he has a point as cab drivers in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are being attacked with regularity. The problem is not just confined to cities either as drivers in small towns are no longer safe. Astley believes that the younger population’s reliance on drink and drugs is one of the causes of the increased level of attacks.

Gulistan Khan is a taxi driver in Rochdale but he suffered a serious attack in February 2012. His attackers punched him in the face, stole his cab and burnt it out. Khan’s black cab was worth thousands of pounds. Astley pointed out that there are a lot of Muslim drivers working in the UK and the public need to learn more about events such as Ramadan. Some drivers take time off to observe the Holy Month so the public need to phone up taxis in advance to avoid being disappointed. Astley says that many customers simply don’t understand the significance of the event and complain.

Source: theboltonnews.co.uk