Mayor of London Boris Johnson has reiterated the dangers of using illegal cabs, warning that “it is just not safe” to use unlicensed touts.
The warning comes as Mayor Johnson, Transport for London (TfL) and the Metropolitan Police Service launched the latest phase of the Safer Travel at Night campaign aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of using illegal cabs.
Thanks to the Cabwise service users within the capital can get numbers for two ocal licensed minicab firms and a black cab company by texting HOME to 60835. The Mayor said the service “is a number that all those going out in London should save on their mobiles.”
According to statistics released by TfL the proportion of women using illegal cabs to get home late at night has fallen from 19 per cent in 2003 to three per cent in 2008. Despite this fall, official police figures show that 104 cab-related sexual attacks were committed in 2007.
Johnson’s warnings have been backed by Chief Superintendent Joe Royle, of the Transport Operational Command Unit (TOCU), who cautioned that “the dangers of taking an illegal minicab should never be underestimated.”
The latest phase of the Safer Travel at Night campaign, which includes outdoor poster, radio and tv advertising, has been timed to co-incide with the arrival of thousands of university students in the Capital, many of whom are unfamiliar with London’s late night travel options.