Other the past decade there's been a steep rise in the the heinous crime of minicab related rape (Based on statistics given by Rape Crisis Centres). Unfortunately over the past few years, the police have shown little appetite to investigate many of the attempted rapes which, can be just as life shattering.
Word gets around and victims lose confidence in the police, therefore the current statistics do not reflect the full picture, with just 8% of attempted sexual assaults actually being reported.
Another reason the statists don't truly reflect the number of attacks, is that if the predator is not arrested (and that's most) the attack gets listed as an ordinary car crime, which means it is not recorded as a cab related attack.
The main cause behind the rise in the frequency of these attacks is TfL/LTPH's refusal to enforce against the lines of illegal, plying for hire minicabs, touting outside satellite offices (operating centres), a known source of victims for predators.
However, one of the biggest fears held by many drivers of Taxis, is a false allegation of serious sexual assault or rape. It seems that allegations made against Taxi drivers are given the full treatment in a bid to try and even out the massive gap between minicab and Taxi incidents.
There are many taxis in London with Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) signs and if you’ve ever wondered why drivers would want these systems, you get a potential answer from Ireland where it has became a worrying trend for young ladies (and I use that term very loosely) telling drivers "if you don't let me off the fare I will scream rape".
Jarlath Malone, owner of the Derry cab company Foyle Delta said, "I know a lot of drivers who will not work at night because of fears of being attacked or robbed, but the biggest fear they have is being falsely accused of rape".
A friend of mine once chased a female bilker in Paddenswick Road and caught her by the gates to Ravenscourt Park. He held her there and called the police. When they arrived she told them he had tried to rape her in the cab and that she had tried to run away from him. Eventually she changed her story, paid the fare and dropped the allegation. He went back to work and thought no more about it.
But a record must have been taken of the allegation because six weeks later the police arrived at his home and in front of his wife and children, asked if they could come in and interview him about a rape in Hampstead. His wife who he had told about the previous incident asked why they had chosen to interview him in particular. When they said he had form and bought up the incident in Acton she hit the roof and screamed at them to leave. A complaint was made via a solicitor and he later received a written apology from an assistant commissioner of the Met.
He has heard no more about the incident or any other since, but it just goes to show how mud can stick.
Video courtesy of Steve the Parrot