Police in Calderdale have vowed to tackle crimes being committed to taxi drivers across the district.
Crimes such as assaults, racial abuse and making off without payment (also known as bilking) are regularly reported to police.
However, it is also believed that some incidents may go unreported, and that incidents and crimes against taxi drivers may be even higher.
The Halifax Neighbourhood Policing Team have been working closely with taxi drivers from across the district to understand issues that may impact on a driver’s ability to either report an incident, or take forward a complaint in order to improve the service to drivers.
Inspector Paul Harkin of the Halifax Neighbourhood Policing Team said; “A taxi is the driver’s place of work. It is only right and proper that drivers can undertake their work in a safe and secure environment.
"Being assaulted, racially abused or having to deal with those who make off without payment is not something that would be tolerated in any other work place, and it is not something that will be tolerated when occurring in taxi’s in Halifax.
“Many people use taxi’s to help them get home after a night socialising, as well as people using them for commuting and shopping.
"They are vital to the local economy and communities across the district rely on drivers each and every day.
"The vast majority of customers treat drivers respectfully, however there is a continuing minority who believe they can physically, verbally and racially abuse drivers, or make off without paying for their fayre.
“We are committed to protecting taxi drivers from these offences, and would always encourage reporting as soon as possible so we can provide an appropriate response.
"I want to reassure anyone who is, or who has been a victim of any offence that we will take swift and robust action and do everything possible to prosecute those responsible.
"We understand the demands of working within the industry, and that the priority is often to return to work as soon as is possible after an incident may have occurred to avoid any loss of income.
"That is why our teams will, where practical, make appointments to take statements and speak with victims at their convenience, allowing them to continue with their work if they wish to do so.
“We have had a significant reduction in the number of reported offences of this nature in the last 6 months following a proactive crackdown in the Ovenden area of Halifax, and will be replicating this positive action across the district to protect taxi drivers where-ever they are working.
“The public are often our eyes and ears and many people may witness incidents that otherwise go unreported.
I would encourage anyone who witnesses an incident, or who has any information that may assist the police in driving down these audacious offences to come forward.”
Anyone with any information can make a report online, or contact their local neighbourhood policing team by contacting 101. In an emergency always call 999.