February 7, 2019
A new campaign has been launched by Durham Police following a rise in the number of fare-dodgers.
Aiming to reduce the level of passengers not paying their fare, private hire taxi drivers can now ask for payment upfront. Risk factors that can influence these crimes include intoxication, late night pick-ups, and passengers travelling in larger groups.
Campaign Against Crime
The scheme, ‘Over 10 Pay There and Then’ is currently in place across the county and requires passengers to pay up front prior to their journey, for fares costing £10 and over.
Private hire firms have been asked to join the scheme in a bid to cut down crime in the area. With support from Durham County Council and Durham Agency Against Crime, the campaign hopes to be a success.
‘Over 10 Pay There and Then’ badges can soon be expected to appear inside taxis as many drivers have already signed up to the campaign.
Payments can be requested up front by drivers, allowing them the right to refuse those who don’t comply.
Advance Payments in Force
“It’s not intended that it’ll be used for someone off to do the weekly shop, it’ll mainly come into force during peak times of the night.”
David Bailey, Detective Sergeant and Acting Detective Inspector, Gavin Wilkes, jointly set up the project. He said: “This is a ground-breaking scheme, as previously, taxi drivers haven’t been able to ask for money in advance. Hopefully, this will reduce the number of offences taking place.
“It’s not intended that it’ll be used for someone off to do the weekly shop, it’ll mainly come into force during peak times of the night.
“The drivers who’ve signed up to the scheme have welcomed this as these incidents waste a lot of time for everyone involved.
“These offences tend to happen when officers are at their busiest, so it’s meant that drivers were losing out on fares waiting for us to attend and deal with, when their priority is collecting the money they’re owed and to return to their business.”
Police officers will be out to encourage even more taxi drivers to sign up to the campaign and crack down on crime.