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Appeal as taxi driver attacked

By Herald Express  |  Posted: August 30, 2012

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A TAXI driver is recovering from neck injuries after being grabbed around the neck and robbed by a gang of four in Totnes.

Police have issued descriptions of the three men and a woman from Torquay who attacked the 26-year-old taxi driver, stealing £200 takings.

When the driver tried to give chase, he was attacked again.

The taxi was taking the four to drop them on the A381 Western Bypass. He had picked up the four suspects from Babbacombe Road in Torquay at around 3.50am on bank holiday Monday.

As he pulled over to let them out near the junction with Cistern Street, one of the three men in the back of the car grabbed him around the neck while another grabbed his takings. All four then ran off from the car.

Two were seen to run up Harpers Hill (known as the old Roman Road) and the woman who had been in the front passenger seat ran down towards Cistern Street.

The taxi driver attempted to chase after them but was pulled down to the ground by a third man.

Police said: "He suffered soreness in the attack and was shaken but not seriously injured."

The woman is described as a chubby blonde in her early 20s, 5ft 5in to 5ft 6in tall, wearing a white dress with patterns with spots or swirls, carrying a black or brown handbag.

The rear middle passenger was a man of chubby build, wearing a light grey top or T-shirt, blue jeans, early to mid 20s, with short mousey, shaven hair.

There is no description of the second man who sat behind the driver.

The fourth gang member who sat behind the passenger was 5ft 6in to 5ft 7in tall, with black 'rough looking' hair, black T-shirt, possibly dark blue jeans and he may have had a tattoo.

Investigating officer PC James Brice, of Totnes CID, said: "This is a serious incident, which is not a normal occurrence within the Totnes area.

"We are actively looking to locate and identify the four people involved in this.

"If anybody heard or saw anything around this time, then please call the police on 101 and quote crime JS/12/888 or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111."

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  • Yellow  |  August 30 2012, 3:30PM

    There will always be characters out there up to no good, the important thing is to ensure that the drivers out there in the night hours are kept as safe as possible. CCTV will act as a deterrent as has been proven by other councils who have worked alongside their taxi companies. Torbay Council and our taxi firms need to start talking to each other. The taxi driver has vertually no say in how things are run, yet they are the ones out all hours on their own. Like I say, we do not have a particular problem in the Bay, but it only takes one very serious incident to one driver.

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  • hughanchor  |  August 30 2012, 1:45PM

    Filthy, evil scumbags like these four should be taken out into the middle of the bay and drowned. They serve no useful purpose in society whatsoever. We need really harsh punishments for offences like this, otherwise people will eventually take the law into their own hands.

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  • Yellow  |  August 30 2012, 11:09AM

    Taxi Driver Attack - My husband is a taxi driver working in the Bay and we are urging all taxi drivers to now lobby their taxi firms for the introduction of CCTVs to be placed in all taxis. Having approached Torbay Council today we have been informed that the Council do not have any plans for the mandatory use of CCTVs for drivers now or in the future unless they were to be approached by taxi firms. Wtih the use of CCTV on our streets, shops buses etc why are the cabbies left with just a radio for communication when they could have just one person in the car sat directly behind the driver which, should an attack take place, the driver would have no chance to give the police a good description of the person. Larger city councils have ensured the safety of taxi drivers. We may not have the crime rate as some of the large cities but it only takes one person who is intent on committing a crime on a driver at one time. Please ensure that this now becomes top of the agenda before an even more serious attack takes place.

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