‘It’s killing us’, says taxi firm owner as fleet left damaged

TROUBLE Manager of Streetwise taxis John Finney with one of his cars which was scratched in Bere Road, Denmead, last week.Picture: Paul Jacobs (1454-4)

TROUBLE Manager of Streetwise taxis John Finney with one of his cars which was scratched in Bere Road, Denmead, last week.Picture: Paul Jacobs (1454-4)

Alan Mak, right, with Henry Harris-Burland from Starship Technologies

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THE owner of a taxi firm has said more attacks on its vehicles could be the end of the company.

Joe Todd, general manager of Andicars, is concerned after five taxis were vandalised in the Havant and Waterlooville area.

BLAZE A fire at ''Andicars in Havant damaged a number of vehicles''. Picture: Paul Jacobs (132049-1)

BLAZE A fire at ''Andicars in Havant damaged a number of vehicles''. Picture: Paul Jacobs (132049-1)

The attacks on vehicles belonging to Streetwise, in Denmead, and Andicars are the latest in a long line of incidents aimed at taxi firms.

They began two years ago and Andicars, based in Havant, now says it faces damages of around £200,000.

Mr Todd said: ‘Last week, we had two of our cars broken into and a couple of items stolen from the inside.

‘Since the attacks started a few years ago, we have faced damages of around £200,000.

‘We couldn’t claim this back on insurance because our policies for the next year would have been too high and we wouldn’t have been able to run the cars.

‘For a small company like ourselves, it is killing us.’

One taxi company owner has said he thinks he knows who is behind the attacks and has told the police.

The first taxi incident was when 626 Cars, in Havant town centre, had its office torched just before Christmas 2012. Several cars also had paint stripper poured over them. No one was ever arrested over the attacks.

And last year Andicars had dozens of cars vandalised – again, with paint stripper – culminating in an arson attack on a fleet of cars behind its Downley Road depot in August.

The latest incident is an attack on three taxi vans belonging to Sean Hoskins, a business partner of Streetwise, in the early hours of Monday, January 6.

Mr Hoskins said they were parked on the road outside his house and the damages will cost about £12,000 to repair.

The vehicles, which are used to take customers to the airport, had been scratched and dented.

Mr Hoskins had to use one of the taxis for a job that had been booked in. He added: ‘We had to take the customer to the airport with the damage.

‘It was embarrassing for us and they weren’t very happy about it either.’

A Hampshire Constabulary spokeswoman said the Streetwise incident is being treated as unrelated to other attacks and anyone with information should contact police on 101.

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