Exeter taxi marshals called in to tackle crime and queue jumping
New taxi marshals will now be in place in Exeter to keep late night revelers in order by managing queues, preventing assaults and tackling anti-social behaviour.
A new taxi marshal scheme has been introduced in Exeter to help tackle crime and disorder, address anti-social behaviour and give those wishing to travel late at night an increased feeling of safety.
The marshals will manage taxi queues, stop queue-jumping, prevent assaults; both to taxi drivers and members of the public; and ensure that non-licensed taxis do not operate in the area. They will marshal both Fore Street and Sidwell Street taxi ranks each Saturday evening between midnight and 4am.
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Police inspector Andrew Webber said “This is an important initiative in preventing and reducing alcohol related problems which often lead to crime and disorder. Chaos in a taxi queue can result in anything from physical assault to a road traffic accident, if not controlled.”
Introduced on 2nd March 2013, the scheme has already seen over 2700 people pass safely through the taxi ranks. £7000 funding for its introduction was granted from the Baroness Newlove Alcohol Fund, money that supports community initiatives which aim to tackle drinking issues.
The initiative will operate until July 2013, providing sufficient data to assess sustainability and funding options for the future of it across the City Centre.
John Harvey, Exeter City Centre Manager said “I’m delighted to see the launch of the taxi marshal scheme; one that will make a major contribution to improving the safety of Exeter at night and that sends a clear signal from the ‘community safety partnership’ that we are determined to crack down on drink related anti social and nuisance behaviour. We must deal robustly with the minority whose behaviour can spoil a visit to the city centre for decent law abiding individuals.”
Taxi marshals are security industry authority (SIA) trained which gives them effective communication and conflict management skills, as well as knowledge of the law. They work closely with the police, local authorities, taxi drivers and local residents to help keep the city’s streets safe, as well as providing a visible reassurance to the communities of Exeter.
“This is a great initiative, and demonstrates the commitment and drive of the ‘community safety partnership’ to enhance safety and reduce crime in the city.” Said Supt. Chris Eastwood, Police Commander for Exeter.
It has been implemented by ‘Exeter alcohol, violence and night time economy forum’ part of Exeter’s ‘community safety partnership’ (CSP). Exeter Businesses Against Crime (EBAC) are also supporting the initiative.
Nick Holladay, chairman of Exeter Taxi Association said “Taxi marshals help reduce crime, disorder and anti social behaviour which occurs around taxi ranks on busy nights. This helps residents and visitors enjoy the night culture of the city and hopefully helps them feel safe. The marshals keep an orderly queuing system making it a safer working environment for the taxi drivers”.