Two men have been have been arrested after a taxi driver was attacked in Birkenhead.
The Wirral globe reports that at around 4.55am on Monday 20 September, police received a report that two male passengers had assaulted a taxi driver on Ball’s Road.
It was reported that the men punched and spat at the victim, following a dispute over the route taken, then made off on foot.
Patrols attended and quickly detained the two males on Cole Street.
During arrest, one of the men assaulted the arresting officer and directed a homophobic slur towards him.
One of the males was also found to be in possession of suspected cannabis.
The two men from Birkenhead, aged 27 and 30, were arrested on suspicion of common assault.
The 27-year-old was also arrested on suspicion of assaulting an emergency worker, a Section 4A public order offence and possession of a Class B drug.
Both men were taken into custody and questioned by offices. They have now been released under investigation while enquiries are ongoing.
Detective Inspector Michael Fletcher said: "To assault someone in this manner simply for doing their job is utterly disgraceful and simply will not be tolerated here on Merseyside.
"Fortunately our officers attended and made swift arrests.
"Our enquiries into the incident remain ongoing and if you were in the Birkenhead area in the early hours of Monday morning and saw anything then please get in touch.
A Bolton taxi driver suspected of working with a Vietnamese organised crime gang involved in people smuggling has been arrested.
According to the Bolton News, a 32-year-old man was detained at his home address in Bolton on Wednesday 22 September on suspicion of facilitating illegal immigration, the National Crime Agency (NCA) has said.
Around £15,000 was seized from their property.
A 40-year-old man living in Chatham, Kent, was also arrested on suspicion of the same offence on Thursday.
They were both questioned by NCA investigators regarding their alleged involvement in immigration offences, before being released under investigation.
NCA Branch Operations Manager Paul Boniface said: “Organised immigration crime groups require significant infrastructure – from transport to finance or advertising. These are all things we are seeking to disrupt.”
“People smugglers treat migrants as a commodity to be profited from and are quite happy to put lives at risk in dangerous journeys in the back of trucks or in small boats.
“Protecting life and preventing exploitation are our priorities, and this investigation continues.”
A taxi driver who crashed into a cyclist at 70mph while on a call and then wiped his phone data has been jailed for two years and eight months.
The Mirror reports that Kashyap Patel, 39, was not arrested after the collision but has since admitted to causing serious injury by dangerous driving and perverting the course of justice.
Patel's iPhone and Motorola had already been handed over to Kent Police when he was able to restore them to factory settings remotely.
But, after recovering SIM card information and reaching out to phone companies, the police discovered that Patel used both of his phones.
Records show that he was on the phone for around 10 minutes, both leading up to the crash and during the collision.
"When asked about the data being erased he admitted he had done so," said prosecutor Peter Forbes in court.
"He said he went online, logged into the Cloud and that there was a way you could delete it."
"The deleting of the data from the phones within hours of them being seized was a calculated act intended to impede the police investigation."
The court heard that Ian Isted was cycling on the road when Patel ploughed into him from the rear.
Mr Isted, who was out cycling to train for a triathlon, was thrown into the air on impact from Patel's Ford Tourneo van in East Peckham, Kent, on Sunday 6 January 2019.
He suffered serious injuries including biting through his tongue, a brain injury and a fractured spine in several places.
He had to undergo surgery to fit metal rods into his back and still requires treatment to recover.
In his victim statement, Mr Isted explains that he can no longer compete in the Ironman challenge, something he dreamed of doing for his 50th birthday.
Witnesses say that they were able to see Mr Isted from up to half a mile away as he was wearing a hi-vis jacket, trousers, cycling shoes and gloves, and riding a £4,500 bike with three rear-facing red, flashing lights.
Mr Isted has decided not to return to cycling from the accident.
"I know I'm lucky to be alive and that without my helmet and the assistance of other road users and paramedics at the scene this would not be the case," Mr Isted wrote in his statement.
The court heard the cabbie, who was not carrying passengers at the time of the incident, could have pulled into the second lane of the dual carriageway to overtake Mr Isted.
It was said in court by prosecutor Forbes that while Patel had not been speeding, he lied to the police who came to the scene that Mr Isted had cycled into his blind spot
During the sentencing, Judge Catherine Moore said: "The use by drivers of mobile phones has long been recognised to have a serious and detrimental effect on a driver's ability to concentrate on the road."
"You didn't see Mr Isted despite him being clearly visible and took no evasive action as your van closed in upon him.
"Albeit you may have been in a state of panic, you took a deliberate action to wipe the data.
"Although some information was recovered from the phone companies, the full extent of your phone use may still be unknown."
As well as his prison term, the father-of-two from Tunbridge Wells has been banned from driving for three years and ten months.
A burglar caught a hackney cab as a getaway after he raided a house - then 'pulled out' a knife during a row with the driver over the fare.
The Manchester Evening News reports that Jamie McCullough is now starting a four-year prison sentence after a sentencing hearing at Manchester's Minshull Street Crown Court on Tuesday 21 September.
McCullough, 34, from Altrincham, pleaded guilty to burglary, causing damage to property, possession of a bladed article, making off without payment and a public order offence.
Greater Manchester Police said McCullough became 'embroiled in an argument with the driver' over the cost of the fare during his getaway.
In a statement, GMP said: "During the argument McCullough became aggressive and pulled out the stolen knife, before kicking and smashing the rear window of the car in an attempt to escape.
"The driver was able to flag down a passing police vehicle informing officers that McCullough was in possession of a knife.
"He was subsequently pursued on foot before swiftly being detained and arrested by officers nearby.
"Officers were then able to recover the knife and a black bag which contained two of the stolen laptops."
During interview with officers, McCullough confessed to having burgled the house on Moss Lane in Hale, Trafford, on Sunday, June 13, fleeing the property with items including a knife, laptops, credit cards and an iPod.
The knife he stole was the same one he produced in the taxi.
After the burglary, he got in a cab at a taxi rank at Altrincham railway station and told the driver to take him to Barton Dock Road, Stretford.
It's understood the driver wasn't injured.
Cheltenham borough Council commits to reviewing its wheelchair accessible vehicle policy in line with meeting its climate zero carbon ambition by 2030. Dialogue advances with app developer to book accessible vehicles
On Tuesday, 21 September, the council announced that the implementation date of 31 December 2021 of its wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) policy for taxis will be removed and has committed to quickly reviewing and implementing an updated WAV policy to bring this into line with its 2030 climate ambition, aiming for Cheltenham taxis to be both wheelchair accessible and carbon zero.
As part of the council’s commitment, the licensing team invited the London Electric Vehicle Company to Cheltenham to demonstrate alternative, greener and wheelchair accessible taxi vehicles for Cheltenham licensed taxi drivers to test drive.
Cllr Martin Horwood, member for customer and regulatory services, said: ‘’My ambition is to develop a policy where we have a 100% zero carbon and wheelchair accessible taxis. The climate emergency motion passed by Council in 2019 commits to Cheltenham being zero carbon by 2030 and accessibility remains a priority for the council.
‘’The revised policy will be developed through extensive engagement with representatives of the licensed trade and disability groups, with advice from our climate change team.
‘’We need a comprehensive plan covering charging infrastructure implementation, affordability and finance for drivers, likely government disability legislation and air quality considerations.
‘’In the meantime, I also want to deliver an immediate and significant increase in the availability of taxis for wheelchair users in Cheltenham. To make this happen we are in discussions with an app developer to make it much easier for wheelchair users in Cheltenham to hail one of the 70 wheelchair accessible hackney cabs we already have.’’
The council recognises the investment made by drivers who have already converted to wheelchair accessible vehicles, and will ensure that the further move to zero carbon will be phased in for those with existing wheelchair-accessible vehicles. New applicants will still be required to license a WAV taxi, so the number of WAV’s will continue to increase.
Andrew Pyrka spokesperson for Cheltenham Taxi Association added: ‘’We are delighted that Cheltenham Borough Council have decided to lift the deadline on the WAV policy, in light of the difficult times drivers have had over the last 18 months. We look forward to working with the council on a policy that not only serves the needs of the disabled but also contributes to protecting the environment.’’
Further information will be published on the licensing webpages in the coming days: https://www.cheltenham.gov.uk/info/11/licensing_and_permits