Launch of zero-tolerance policy on taxi driver abuse

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A TAXI driver has welcomed the introduction of a zero-tolerance campaign aimed at protecting people in the profession from violence and abuse.

Steve Barwick, a member of Worthing Taxi Association, said he believes the policy will make a huge difference to drivers, who have seen a rise in the number of incidences of abuse in recent months.

He said: “It has got worse. It’s mainly the verbal abuse, but you also get the people who have no money and run off when you drop them off.

“At the end of the day, we’re just doing a job. They want to get home safely and we want to get them home safely. We welcome this campaign 100 per cent.”

Worthing Taxi Association was one of many organisations to attend a meeting to outline the strategy for the campaign. Representatives from Worthing Borough Council, Sussex Police, the Safer Communities Partnership, Worthing Pubwatch, the Street Pastors, the taxi marshals and the management of the largest venue in the town, the Liquid Lounge, also attended.

The news of this pledge comes after the successful introduction of taxi marshals to the town, and aims to go one step further in clamping down on bad behaviour.

The campaign will see police put on extra patrols in the town on Friday and Saturday nights, and they will be on-hand to help when drivers or taxi marshals experience abuse.

The campaign will also mean that those abusing taxi drivers or marshals will be banned from all licensed venues in Worthing.

Posters will also be put up and leaflets distributed to all town centre venues detailing what its about.