Taxi marshals to help stop revellers from being conned by counterfeit cabs

Taxis
Taxis

A marshalling scheme to make sure revellers are not conned by unlicensed taxis after their nights out has been launched in Hemel Hempstead.

The scheme, introduced on Saturday, is the first of its kind in Dacorum and directs pub, club and theatre-goers into licensed taxis and private hire vehicles.

Trained licensed security personnel wearing high-vis uniforms will act as marshals to supervise the new taxi rank outside the Old Town Hall and to direct others into bona-fide cabs.

The project was suggested by licensed taxi drivers in the town to improve safety during late nights, and to help ensure the success of the night-time economy in the run-up to Christmas and the New Year.

Licensing team leader at Dacorum Borough Council Ross Hill said: “We are pleased to introduce Dacorum’s first taxi marshalling scheme, which will supplement the existing licensing enforcement operations carried on by the council and police across the borough.

“Taxi marshals will help us to ensure that the taxis and private hire vehicles being used by customers of licensed venues in the High Street are legal, insured and safe for use, and to prevent unlicensed rogue drivers from illegally picking up and endangering the safety of passengers.”

Funded by Hertfordshire County Council’s community safety unit, the scheme will run until December and will be reviewed after Christmas to see whether or not it can be made a permanent fixture of the Old Town.

The marshals will work on Friday and Saturday nights between the hours of 11pm and 3.45am, and will be linked by radio to Dacorum Borough Council’s CCTV control room.

They will be able to report any issues that need police attention to help reduce anti-social behaviour and alcohol-related crime.

For more information, ask for licensing on 01442 228000 or email licensing@dacorum.gov.uk.

Last year, a quick-thinking CCTV operator helped police put a stop to a sexual assault posing as a taxi driver – but without any of the relevant documents displayed on his vehicle.

Police also worked with licensing officers from Dacorum Borough Council on an operation to scout out illegal taxi drivers in Hemel Hempstead last month.