Complaints made against taxis in York include drivers being aggressive towards cyclists, refusing lifts to disabled passengers and allegations about bad parking or driving.
A Freedom of Information request has revealed City of York Council received 154 complaints in 2016, 319 in 2017 and 277 last year.
But more than half of them were about the behaviour of drivers registered with other local authorities.
Accusations made range from serious allegations – such as violent behaviour or a driver taking photos of a woman’s children and posting them on Facebook – to complaints about drivers slamming doors or arriving early.
There were also complaints about taxis refusing disabled passengers or charging extra to carry wheelchairs, as well as accusations of people driving up Shambles.
One person alleged a driver parked across Shambles to go to Greggs and customers also contacted the council to claim taxis were parking in the ambulance area at York Hospital.
Tony Green, hackney driver and spokesman for the united trade group, said that “one complaint is one too many” and he wants all customers to have a “positive experience”.
He added that there are more than 1,000 drivers registered and working in York but up to 60 out of town drivers working in the city at any time, and said the proportion of complaints is much higher for vehicles from other areas.
We do support the council in taking any enforcement action for anything that’s done wrong. It’s so important that anyone who uses our service has a positive experience.
We are actively encouraged to report out of town vehicles doing anything wrong.
Matt Boxall, head of public protection at the council, said: “We take safety in our taxis extremely seriously. Our enforcement work continues in co-operation with North Yorkshire Police and Licensing Officers from other authorities.
“We review every single complaint and take a proportionate response in line with our enforcement policy.”
He urged people to report any complaints to email@example.com.
POLICE have charged a man after a taxi driver was reportedly robbed and punched in the face last week.
Cables Taxis says it was targeted, with two incidents reported to police relating to the night of Friday, May 10 into Saturday 11.
READ MORE > Man, 46, arrested to prevent breach of the peace
The firm says it has had several cases of people making off without payment recently and claimed that incidents "escalated" on that particular night.
Firstly, it was reported that two men made off without payment on Cooper Street, Cowley Hill shortly before midnight after a private hire journey.
When challenged, one of the men punched the wing mirror of the taxi.
Later that night there was a subsequent report alleging that three men got into a private hire car on Rodney Street, in the Queens Park area at about 4am.
When the taxi was on Kirkland Street, it was reported one of the men then stole cash from the driver’s pocket before punching him to the face and making off on foot.
Police have arrested and charged Dean James Kermode, 36, of Chamberlain Street, West Park in connection with the alleged incident.
He has been charged with assault and theft, as well as two separate offences of burglary.
Kermode has been remanded in custody.
Meanwhile, a 26-year-old man from St Helens was arrested on suspicion making off without payment and theft offences and has been released under investigation.
A MAN who attacked and tried to rob a taxi driver was identified by his DNA from a bite mark he had left on his victim’s arm during the incident.
And Craig Miller was jailed for four-and-a-half years after a judge heard he was already serving a prison sentence for blinding a man in one eye during an attack in a pub.
Teh 24-year-old, of Cashmore Avenue, Leamington, had pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to the attempted robbery of the taxi driver and having an offensive weapon.
Prosecutor Paul Fairley said in the early hours of July 29 last year the taxi driver picked up two men in Leamington to take them to an address in Warwick.
When they arrived, the second man said he wanted to pay the next day, and he had agreed that with the taxi controller – but the driver asked to be paid straight away.
So that man got out of the car, leaving the door open, and went into the address to get some cash.
Miller also got out and walked away, but returned after the driver got out to close the door the other man had left open.
He had a bag from which he took a length of metal which looked like a car aerial and swung it at the driver, catching him to the side of his head and cutting his ear.
Miller continued to swing it at the driver, demanding money.
The driver managed to grab hold of the weapon, and as they struggled Miller bit him on the arm, at which the driver let go of him and got back into the car.
But as he drove off, Miller lashed out at the car with the weapon, and he was arrested after being identified from a DNA swab taken from the bite he had inflicted.
Mr Fairley said that Miller had two previous convictions for robbery, and in December had been jailed for two years and eight months for inflicting grievous bodily harm.
That had followed an incident in a Leamington pub when Miller had punched his victim with such force that the man’s eye ‘effectively exploded in its socket,’ blinding him in that eye.
Simon Hunka, defending, said Miller had had an issue with drink and drugs, but seemed to have turned his life around, getting a job as a scaffolder and forming a stable relationship.
But when an aunt to whom he was particularly close, and who had given him a significant degree of support, passed away a week or so earlier, he had turned back to drink and drugs.
A TAXI driver feared for his safety as he was racially abused by a man in Worcester.
Nasir Mahmood was driving his taxi just after midnight on April 18 when he picked up Jack Payne from Barker Street.
Payne, who was under the influence of alcohol, began using racially abusive language towards Mr Mahmood.
Mr Mahmood then ordered Payne to get out of his cab, saying he would not take him any further while the abuse continued.
The row continued as Payne, 22, of Rodborough Drive, continued to hurl racial abuse at Mr Mahmood, and magistrates in Worcester heard how he allegedly tried to get into the front seat of the taxi to confront him.
Fearing for his safety, Mr Mahmood dialled 999 and several police officers were sent to the scene.
At the trial at Worcester Magistrates Court on May 16, where Payne appeared charged with one count of racially or religiously aggravated harassment, prosecutor Shafquat Reaz said: "The altercation continued as the defendant tried to jump into the front seat of the car and got physical, while still using the racial language.
"When the police arrived, he said it again.
"This is a hate crime."
Payne was in danger of being sent to prison due to the racial nature of the offence, but the court heard how the circumstances of his personal life meant he was in a very stressful state on the night when the incident happened.
Representing Payne, Belinda Ariss said: "My client has a fairly complicated and stressful private life with his own issues he is seeking support for.
"He has to be a carer for other family members and has a 15 month-old son, as well as a recent family bereavement.
"The way he deals with these things is by drinking, which he accepts is not the right way to deal with issues.
"He is extremely remorseful and wants more help.
"He has an unenviable record of public order offences but he is trying to get more support from Swanswell."
Magistrates decided to order Payne to pay Mr Mahmood £100 for the emotional distress he suffered, as well as ordering him to carry out 100 hours unpaid work in the community as part of a 12-month community order.
Because of longstanding fines from previous convictions amounting to over £2,000, the court did not order Payne to pay a victim surcharge or court costs.
A thug attacked a man with a bottle in an apparent 'misunderstanding' about a taxi.
Christopher Pattison, 34, hit Thomas McDade in Glasgow's Greenfield area last December.
Pattison was charged with assault to severe injury.
The victim had been waiting for a cab with his sister.
Prosecutor Pat Callender told Glasgow Sherif Court: "Pattison and his partner arrived in a taxi and there was a misunderstanding.
“He stuck Mr McDade with a bottle he was holding causing it to fall.”
Pattison continued to lash out as the victim's sister raced to get help.
He was clocked smacking Mr McDade with an "unknown item" before eventually halting the attack.
A blood soaked Mr McDade was treated at hospital suffering from facial wounds.
Lyndsay Gaughan, defending, said it was claimed Mr McDade threw the first punch.
She told the court: “He understands he shouldn’t have reacted in the way that he did.”
Sheriff Joseph Platt deferred sentencing for reports and remanded McDade in custody.