TAXI drivers are constantly threatened, assaulted and robbed but most of the incidents go unreported, a union spokesman says.
“Not only are they getting assaulted, they’re not getting paid,” Transport Workers Union’s Mick Perry said.
“By the time it gets reported (the offender has) come and gone.”
His comments come after two men were charged with assaulting and robbing a taxi driver at Emerton, near Mt Druitt. The cabbie suffered cuts to his hands after one of the men allegedly held a knife to his throat mid trip.
Mr Perry said drivers were in a difficult position because they are considered the “Plan B” for those who have had too much to drink.
“The problem (is) taxis cart everybody,” Mr Perry said.
“Violence comes a lot from the drunk and drug-affected passengers at night.
“How do you refuse those people? Your job is to take those people, who have been drinking, home.”
Veteran driver Michael Hatrick believes young drivers feel they do not have the right to refuse a fare.
“I’ve had a knife held on me, threats of violence,” he said.
“(Assault) happened more frequently in my early years of driving. These days it doesn’t. I put that down to experience.”
NSW Taxi Council deputy chief executive Nick Abrahim said cab drivers were considered ‘vulnerable workers’ but new technology — including tracking devices — meant they were safer now than ever before.
“NSW taxis have some of the most sophisticated systems and devices in the world: alarms, cameras, GPS devices,” he said.
“We’re also working with NSW Police in investigations and CCTV. ”
Mt Druitt crime manager Detective Inspector Dave Goddard said: “You can’t be too drunk when you get into a taxi. Be tolerant because the driver’s doing you a favour.”
Originally published as Violence against cabbies going unreported...Read more