Whether it’s travelling to the airport or getting home from a night out in Cardiff, Swansea or Newport, you will most likely hire a taxi. With private hire vehicles such as uber, it is easy to make bookings.
Since 2017 the number of taxis and private hire vehicles increased by 1.7% in England and Wales, which is quite a large increase, as it’s the highest since they were first recorded in 2005.
But like any industry, there is a downside, with crimes in recent years committed by drivers leading to a consultation launch on the taxi and private hire industry in the hope to implement stricter rules on licensing drivers to protect vulnerable people.
If you’re planning to travel by taxi or private hire vehicle, follow some simple tips on how to stay safe.
Wait near well-lit areas and CCTV cameras
In the UK, only a small group of licensing authorities require taxis and private hire vehicles to have CCTV installed (however this could change to all taxi’s and PHV’s to require CCTV) Until this new law is put into effect, waiting in Taxi ranks which have CCTV installed will allow people to trace where passengers are being picked up in an event of an emergency situation. Criminals are less likely to target passengers who will have evidence of them being attacked. Also standing in well-lit areas when it is dark will make you more visible to passers-by and to taxi’s/ PHV picking you up
Let someone know when you are travelling
Telling someone that you are on your way to meet them, or someone who you have just left will reassure people that you are safe. When travelling, make sure that your phone has enough charge and if it hasn’t, have a portable charger so that you will be able to get in touch with someone in an emergency.
Plan your journey
If you are travelling to somewhere that you are unfamiliar, it is best to plan your journey. Outlining your route will give you peace of mind that you will be travelling to your destination in good time and show others that you are safe. Try and familiarise yourself with the location in advance and keep relevant information at hand, including an emergency contact.
Have find my phone installed
Having apps such as Find my phone or find my device will help locate your smartphone if it is lost or stolen. Too often, many people who go on a night out will get into a taxi and realise that their phone is missing. In the UK 183 phones were stolen with the majority being iPhones. So, it may be a good idea to install these apps to trace your phone.
If you are travelling alone, stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings. If you are on your own trying to travel back at night, hail a taxi in a well-lit area where there is plenty of people and traffic. No matter what, it is important that you are visible to plenty of people so there are witnesses who can help you in an emergency.
If you are in a taxi or a Private Hire Vehicles, check that the direction you’re going in is familiar to you. If it is not, check on maps on your smartphone that you are travelling in the right direction. If you feel that you are in danger, don’t hesitate to ask the driver to stop at the nearest opportunity – if they do not stop, stay calm and call 999.
A&R Security Services offer comprehensive security solutions to commercial properties in Cardiff, Swansea, Newport, South Wales and the South West. To find out more about our security solutions visit our website or to arrange a free quotation call us on 01656 713950