April 10, 2019
Cabbies in Wigan have been discussing recent incidents involving young youths who are targetting taxi drivers and how this is impacting their livelihood. The town centre has witnessed a string of crimes from yobs in the area with drivers demanding more protection.
Angry industry representatives say taxis have been damaged with windows smashed, taxi routes blocked deliberately and abusive insults aimed towards drivers in the trade.
A series of anti-social behaviour complaints have been received by Wigan Council and it has advised these details have been reported to Greater Manchester Police. One lead has led to an individual being issued prohibited access to the area.
Taxi drivers are concerned youths will continue to vandalise and hurl abuse, despite the crimes being reported. They say it may result in drivers no longer operating in the heart of the city where the incidents most likely occur.
Wigan cabbie, Eddie Earley, said: “These young thugs are hanging around and drivers coming back into the town through the centre are getting attacked. Cars are being damaged with windows smashed and vehicles are being stopped with barriers being out in the middle of the road.
“That whole area should be on CCTV and this has been going on for the last two weeks. It doesn’t look like enough is being done. It’s doing a lot of damage to the town centre and it’s getting to the point where we’ll have to make it a no-go area for taxis. We’ll only use the main roads and people will have to pay more to get into town.”
Mr Earley says it’s mostly teenagers that have appeared to be at the forefront of incidents. Drivers are facing hefty bills to cover the costs of the repairs to their taxis.
Taxi drivers feel more needs to be done in a bid to save the trade. Mr Earley commented: “We’ll boycott the whole town centre if we have to. Safety of the drivers must be guaranteed.”
Wigan Council ensures they were by no means overlooking anti-social behaviour in the area and advise they’re looking into having more security surveillance.
Assistant director for environment at Wigan Council, Dace Lyon, said: “Anti-social behaviour such as this is never acceptable and we will always work closely with colleagues in the police to mitigate and diffuse such unacceptable behaviour where possible.
“There’s a heavy CCTV presence in the immediate town centre and we’ll continue to share any footage with Greater Manchester Police to support their ongoing enquiries.”