Friday, August 10, 2012

Terrified Taxi Driver Attack, Caught On CCTV

After spilling his wine, James Pilgrim suddenly turned on 52-year-old Hastings Taxi driver Lee Curtis. Throwing multiple punches, he grabbed him in a head lock and proceeded to bite him on the face. There can be absolutely no excuse for this type of unprovoked attack.

The physical signs of this attack, which took place three weeks ago will fade, but mental scars take far longer to heal. It is unclear whether Mr Curtis will ever again be able to face driving a taxi.

Nobody should have to fear abuse, physical or verbal, when at work, or indeed fear for their life, as Mr Curtis did, and yet for taxi drivers in recent years, this threat is increasingly a reality.

In the last three years, assaults on taxi drivers have gone from extremely rare occurrences to almost commonplace -though thankfully most attacks are not so severe.

It's thanks to the CCTV installed in Mr Curtis’ taxi that the perpetrator was swiftly brought to justice.

CCTV should be mandatory in all taxis. Unfortunately there are many protest groups who argue against, as they say this is in breach of their privacy.

Having CCTV footage to refer back to protects not only the driver, but also the passenger. Any disputes can be resolved quickly by watching the tape back, and if a crime is committed the footage can be used as indisputable evidence.

Of course, CCTV is not the solution to the problem of violent acts being committed in the first place. All Taxis which unlike private hire, pick up mostly unbooked, unrecorded passengers from the street or licensed Taxi rank, should be fitted with attack proof partitions like the ones used in London's Taxi Fleet.

However CCTV is a positive move forward that could provide an extra layer of protection to every licensed Taxi driver, nationwide.

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