Taxi driver Tony Casey, fears somebody "could be killed" as drivers are being targeted by a gang from Lisson Grove.
Tony, who has been driving a black cab in London since the 1980s, says the attacks are becoming commonplace. The road is one of the main routes into Marylebone and Paddington from St John’s Wood, along with the Edgware Road.
Gangs are targeting taxi drivers and their takings. This includes brazen attempts to stop the cars in the street, and even trying to get drivers to help disabled people get into the Taxi, only to rob them when they step out of the cab. Tweets also say a driver was attacked with a fire extinguisher.
Tony said: "For the last few years, licensed cab drivers have been robbed while driving through Lisson Grove. It’s a joke.
"The police don’t seem to be interested or care about taxi drivers. Somebody, either a taxi driver or one of the gang members, could be killed."
Alex Workman has been driving taxis for 11 years, and lives in Lisson Grove. He has seen the aftermath of a robbery.
"I picked up a group in Praed Street," he said. "When they all piled in, they said: ‘Can you pick up my friend’s bag on the way?’"
When Alex’s cab pulled up, the youths picked up a bag from the street. He quickly realised they had a driver’s money bag.
"I told them to get out, and they dropped the bag on the way. When I checked, it was empty. A woman came up and said she’d seen a taxi driver being robbed."
The 37-year-old says some taxi drivers are no longer carrying cash bags to minimise the risk of being robbed. He told us he fears for his safety.
"Myself, and drivers know who these people are. It would be an easy problem to tackle, but they would have to get a police presence in the area. I don’t have much confidence in the police full stop. I don’t blame individual officers or Sadiq Khan, but I put blame directly at the door of commissioner Cressida Dick.
"Like a lot of visible crime at the moment, you need visible officers. It’s not about taking DNA or doing stuff behind computer screens, it’s about getting boots on the ground."
Scotland Yard pointed us to Church Streets neighbourhood police team, who could not be reached for comment.
Source : Article From The Ham and High.
TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT: by Jim Thomas.
The age of the attackers range from young teens to late twenties.
I have myself been targeted by these gangs. A few weeks ago, I picked up a young man in Finchley Road and was directed to Church Street Edgware Road. The passenger directed me to stop by a group of men standing in a door way.
As we pulled up (I had my foot on the brake locking the door) he put his arm out the window and let himself out of my Cab. He then goaded me to get out and confront him, but I just drove off with the door open, untill I got a safe distance away and was able to close.
I managed to get this image of him with my in cab CCTV.
I was also the victim of a failed attack in Eversholt Street, when a young man ran up to the side of the Taxi while I waited at a red light and tried to pull open the near side luggage door. He made no attempt to enter the vehicle via the rear doors (which were at the start of his approach unlocked) and was shouting "please open the door, do me a favour, put down the window I just want to tell you something.
I had to jump the lights to get away as I feared he was about to smash the window....this I have on video from mydash-cam.
Other drivers have been attacked by two men with powder fire extinguishers. The driver is doused in powder through the open window, the attackers open the driver's door through the window and pull out the driver. His phone moneybag, etc are then taken and the attackers run off in the direction of Church Street.
Other drivers have been flagged down by Frampton Street, told my nan is coming out in a wheelchair can you get the ramp out. As the driver gets out to position the ramp, he is then attacked and robbed.
These gangs have been allowed to carry on robbing Cabbies for far too long. As far as we know they have been doing this for over two years now. Drivers have been robbed and assaulted.
Drivers involved in these attacks have been told by operators on the emergency number 999 that no officers are available and have been told to report the robbery to a police station and as we all know, at night, finding one open is not a simple excersise.
A few weeks ago, two Cabbies sitting in the rank at Marylebone Station, were threatened with a bottle alleged to contain acid....the police were called and the drivers were told that there were no units available in the area!
These attacks show why it is so important to lock the front doors at all time, not just at night. Many of these attacks have happened in broad daylight. "Keep em out".
TAXI LEAKS EXTRA COMMENT: by John Reid
Just remember this, an American was locking up his house at night when he saw 2 men in his garden shed. He called the police and they said cannot help as no one in the area.
So he rang back five minutes later and said he had just shot and killed the 2 men. In no time at all, their were10 to12 police cars and a helicopter and other emergencies vehicles outside his house.
When the duty office saw the 2 men were not dead he said he was going to arrest the man. When he asked why he was being arrested the duty officer said for lying to me!
The man then said, but you lied to me when you said you had no one to send.....
So, just think about it when you cannot get help.