Members of the Community Safety Team at Lancashire Constabulary are promoting the practice of pre-payment with all taxis in the Preston area over the festive period.
The initiative is aimed at reducing the number of offences of people taking taxis, but then making off without payment. The scheme will predominately be applicable throughout the evening.
Insp Caroline Edwards, Community Safety Team says: “We want to ask the public not to be offended if they are asked for a deposit or pre-payment of fares when they take a taxi. Christmas and New Year is an extremely busy time for all taxi drivers and over this period we see an increase in bilking. By encouraging pre-payment, we can hopefully reduce the number of these incidents.”
Mike Thorpe, Licensing Manager at Preston City Council added: “The practice of asking for a payment or part payment up front by Preston taxi drivers has been encouraged for a number of years and many regular visitors to our city centre and railway station are already familiar with such practice but it is worth reminding occasional users of it so not to cause any offence.
“Our drivers provide a valuable service, particularly late at night when other forms of public transport are not available. Security of both drivers and passengers is of paramount importance and any measures that reduce the risk of conflict or crime is to be welcomed.”
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