False Classification Of Taxi Muggings As Theft From Motor Vehicles Detracting From Real Issue

Just seen a letter from Neil Reynolds detective Inspector, Gangs and Proactive Unit Westminster, to local MP Karen Buck. 

It seems although many drivers are making complaints to the Met about the mugging/Attempted Muggings, they are not being recorded as attacks against Taxi drivers (which of course they are) too many are being recorded as thefts from motor vehicles. 

Therefore the letter to local MP Karen Buck starts although the attacks over the summer were low with just 2 attacks in June and 2 in July, 4 in August and 0 in September.... although he does go on to say there was a sharp rise to 7 in October.  

But this is nowhere near the true figure as some weeks there are multiple attacks nightly. 

As for the high profile Georgie Vyse attack, he states it’s not been recorded properly. 

He also states Cabbies not doing enough to protect themselves saying valuables shouldn’t be left on front passenger seat ???

He obviously doesn’t know much about the layout of a Taxi. 

He also inferred "drivers not reporting crimes quick enough"... tell that to Colin who was the victim of an acid attack while on the rank at Marylebone Station. Took him 25 minutes to get through on 999, only to be told they had no units in the vicinity. 

Letter reads:

Dear Karen

I have been asked to provide you with a response in relation to the concerns raised by Mr Anthony Casey regarding robberies of black cab drivers in the area around Lisson Green Estate.

Having reviewed the crimes recorded, the number of offences of this nature reported over the summer are relatively low, 2 in June, 2 in July, 4 in August and 0 in September, however there has been a recent increase to 7 similar reports having been made in October so far.

The majority of these reports have not involved violence and are recorded as thefts, only two offences have been recorded as robberies where the victim were punched both of these occurred in October.

Having reviewed the offences many of these offences were not reported to the police at the time of the offence but have been reported 1-2 days later and have limited investigative opportunities through which to identify the suspects adding to the difficulty in prosecuting the offenders. 

It may be that other offences go completely unreported too, mr Casey refers to the Vic Tim by the name of George Vyse but I cannot locate a report relating to an incident involving Mr Vyse.

The usual method is for one of the suspects to distract the driver when paying the fair while his associate steals items from the front passenger seat of the cab although there have also been a few using a more elaborate distraction involving the use of the wheelchair ramp in the cab. 

I do believe that a number of these offences could’ve been prevented with basic crime prevention measures and would advise the following

* remain cautious when transporting groups of young men around Edgeware Road and the Lisson Green area

* Keep front passenger door locked and window closed when transporting such groups

* Be weary of requests distracting you to the back of the cab e.g. seatbelt stuck or wheelchair ramp required

* Do not keep your valuables in view on the front passenger seat or consul area

* Always lock your cab and keep processions safe when exciting the vehicle

* Report crimes to police immediately and insure any CCTV footage is produced to the police at the earliest opportunity.

Westminster gangs unit regularly patrol this area, are aware of these offences and pay attention to taxicabs in order to identify these offenders. They also arrested for suspects towards the end of June for a similar offence, The suspects are currently released under investigation while enquiries are ongoing. I will ensure my colleagues in other areas of business working around Lisson Green are also aware of the recent increase in offences, to insure the suspects are targeted.

If you have any further questions regarding this issue please do let me know.

Many thanks


Neil Reynolds/ detective inspector/ Gangs and proactive unit/ Westminster-CW

Address: Charing Cross police station, Agar Street, London WC2N 4JP

So, you can see according to the detective inspector the problem we have is twofold, 

• Drivers not reporting attacks. 

• Drivers not at the time of the incident.

But in reality the attacks are being recorded incorrectly therenby giving a false perspective of the danger we face. The muggings have been going on for three years now, and can't be left any longer. 

The situation needs to be dealt with swiftly, before a driver is seriously injured or even killed.

You can also see from his letter, detective Inspector Neil Reynolds isn’t very clued up about taxis... referring to front passenger seats which will only be found in minicabs not Taxis

If you are a victim of such an attack report it straight away, plus contact:

Scott Barden Marshall, the neighbourhood policing sergeant for the areas covered by, Abby Road, Lisson Grove, Church Street and Little Venice Maida Vale. 

Scott is based at 80a Church Street NW8 8ET 

And you can phone am9-5pm on; 0207 321 8505

You can also contact Scott out of hours in his email address;


 Some good advice from the detective Inspector but if these crimes are going to carry on being falsely collated, not too much help I’m afraid.

Taxi Leaks would like to thank Tony Casey for the amount of work he has put into this issue getting things up to this level and involving MP Karen Buck.

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