Clampdown on youths aims to end taxi drivers’ terror
AMAJOR operation has been launched to clamp down on youths who are terrorising taxi drivers.
Drivers in Middleton town centre say they have been pelted with bricks and even had planks of wood thrown at their vehicles by young people in an ongoing campaign of harassment.
Driver Francis Caine has previously spoken out about the issue, which he says has been going on for a decade, but has recently escalated.
He says he has even witnessed youths trying to start a fire on a petrol station forecourt.
Some drivers say they have reduced their working hours because of the problems and that they have been forced to spend money on repeat vehicle repairs.
Now a number of organisations have joined forces to tackle the issue, pledging to boost the police presence and slap behaviour orders on troublemakers.
Representatives from Rochdale council, Greater Manchester Police, Middleton Township committee and local taxi and private hire companies have committed to clamping down on the anti-social behaviour.
Following the last Middleton Township committee, where concerns were raised about the safety of drivers, their passengers and pedestrians, the borough’s agencies have now agreed to work together to tackle the issue.
The action includes increasing the presence of police and agency staff, more CCTV coverage and support for victims to report the crimes.
GMP will also be able to use powers such as criminal behaviour orders and dispersal orders to stop anti-social behaviour where appropriate.
Councillor Sara Rowbotham, ward councillor for North Middleton, said: “I am disappointed and saddened to hear about a small number of our young people inflicting problems on drivers in Middleton.
“This type of inconsiderate and dangerous behaviour will not be tolerated and I am confident that by working together with our partners we will be able to improve the safety of drivers and the people of Middleton.”
Residents with concerns about antisocial behaviour can report it at rochdale. gov. uk/ antisocialbehaviour or on 0300 303 8878.
Coun Sara Rowbotham said she was ‘disappointed and saddened’ to hear about the problems