Aqua boss says cab drivers in Portsmouth are being targeted by stone-throwing vandals every weekend - and drivers feel under attack
TAXI drivers across the city are being targeted by vandals, according to a taxi boss.
Drivers have reported having stones thrown at them while driving - potentially smashing windscreens and windows and endangering drivers.
Aquacars general manager Bruce Hall said: ‘Drivers are coming in every Monday and complaining about this happening over the past few weeks.
‘From what I know it’s several taxi companies being targeted by this, and my concern is that someone is going to be seriously hurt.’
Brian Bucknall, 59 from Drayton, says that he has been the victim of numerous incidents in and around the city centre, with rocks being thrown at his taxi.
On Saturday, April 28 at around 7pm, a group of youths had thrown stones at a taxi as it drove along Winston Churchill Avenue.
A similar incident took place in Holbrook Road at around 8pm on February 3.
Mr Bucknall is concerned that his passengers aren’t safe, and that not enough is being done to prevent this sort of thing from happening.
The news comes after a spate of similar incidents in Havant, after rocks have been thrown at taxis and minicabs in the town centre.
Mr Bucknall said: ‘This has been going on for quite a while now, but it’s happening more frequently.
‘It is usually happening in Holbrook Road and near Somerstown – and it is always stones that are being thrown.
‘I feel as though we are being targeted simply because we are taxi drivers, but none of us know why this is happening and that is a rather scary thought.
‘If one of these stones were to hit the window it could come through and hit a passenger, or even shatter glass over them.
‘I’ve lived here for 30 years and I don’t feel safe in the town any more.’
Inspector Marcus Cator from Hampshire Constabulary said: ‘We have received two reports of damage to taxis in the Somerstown area since the beginning of February, which doesn’t suggest an increase in this type of crime against taxi drivers.
‘I would urge anyone who is a victim of crime to report it to the police, because we allocate our resources according to crime trends and crime hotspots.
‘To give an example of this, last year we received reports of a number of incidents targeting taxi drivers and so we put an operation in place which included targeted patrols and we also held public meetings and engagement with taxi drivers.’