By Peter J Rose
After we went to press with Cab Trade News, a UNITE Cab Section member has found more documentation to support the notion that minicab Satellite Offices are not just there because of some cock-up by the authorities, but by design. A low cost solution to an unwanted problem.
I can now reveal that not only are Minicab Satellite Offices there by design, but those responsible actually won a Herman Goldstein award for problem-oriented policing. Of course that was back in 2006 and cab-related sexual assaults were on the decline, and before the Satellite boom, as detailed by our front page story.
Now since the 2008 relaxation of minicab booking requirements at Satellite Offices, sexual assaults are on the increase again. As I’ve said in my front page article, this cannot be coincidental. In the last year sexual assaults in the capital went up by 7.1%. Rape is up by 32.1% and cab-related sexual assaults according to latest figures are up by a staggering 54%. In my view something is clearly going wrong with this problem solving approach to policing and needs to be addressed most urgently.
It can no longer be acceptable for the authorities to adopt a ‘blind eye’ policy when it comes to minicabs. It can no longer be the case that Minicabs park, or more correctly rank on restricted streets with impunity. It can no longer be the case that unlicensed minicabs can mingle with licensed ones un-noticed. It can no longer be the case that insufficient record keeping at Satellite offices is allowed to be got away with. UNITE Cab Section through Cab Trade News has for many months been campaigning to an end of the concept of the Satellite Office because of the all too apparent danger! It is now time that the authorities take notice and work with the taxi trade to find safe night-time transport solutions.