The Dads Defending Daughters group -who campaign for the safety of loved ones during these dangerous and lawless times- brought this sorry account, involving trade stalwart and Mayfair Mob dependable 'Benidorm' Dave, to my attention.
Saturday before last, whilst ranked in Brewer Street, a lone distressed tearful female ran to his cab. Upon entering she shrieked "please lock the doors driver". Dave locked the door and asked her why she was so distressed.
She explained, that having become separated from her friends, with a powerless mobile, she found herself cashless, needing to get home to Kent.
She was approached by a man in a car, carrying TFL Private Hire identification, purporting to be a Taxi driver. "Taxi Lady?" he said " where you trying to get to".
On enquiring his price, he replied with (what nobody expects or deserves to hear)...."OK we can get there then go somewhere private and have a good time together".
Realising he was eluding to 'payment in kind', she exited the scene smartish, leaving this sexual predator sitting in his TFL roundeled car. Luckily, she found 'gallant' Dave on point of the Brewer Street Taxi rank.
Dave managed to calm her down and drove her to her home near Gravesend, where she was able to pay him the fare by credit card.
She spoke of hearing previously from friends, of such advances by touting PH drivers, but never thought it would happen to her.
So questions beg:
Where are the Police?
Where are CEO's?
Where is enforcement of any shape or form?
Transport for London, sell 125,000 licences over a 3 year period, raking in a cool £37,500,000 in fees. Surely they should be providing a better standard of public protection from sexual predators....New York has an army of 800 Taxi inspectors enforcing their regulations 24/7.
Where is TfLs enforcement ???
A dozen night time compliance officers hiding in bus shelters, doing two shifts a week is not good enough.
TfL, you put these PHVs on our streets, it's your job to enforce and protect the public.
Dave said the grateful damsel's parting remark was "Londons Taxis are the last and only 'bastion of sanctuary' out there".
Final words go to a recent passenger of mine..."Better off to arrive home poorer but safe, than better off and abused".