In a new documentary “Wrong Way Home ?”(Sky Channel 117, 8 pm tonight),  journalist Louise Hulland investigates the problem of unlicensed minicabs and the devastating affects getting in one can have. The program runs from 8 till 9 and will then be followed by an online debate 9-10.
Click link  < londonlive.co.uk >
It’s 3am, you’re feeling a tad worse for wear, and you just want to
get home to your bed. We all know we shouldn’t just jump in the first taxi we see but it can be all too tempting.
“On average two women a week report a cab-related assault” says Louise. “Many incidents go unreported, so police estimate the figure is nearer 20 a week.”
“If a guy pulled over in his car during the day and asked if you wanted a lift, you’d be suspicious. When you come out a club late a night, what changes? If it’s not a black cab that you’ve hailed yourself, or a pre-booked mini-cab – you really have no idea who’s driving you home.”
“When you get in a licensed mini-cab there has to be a record of ​your journey, including the time of the pick-up, the name of the driver and the destination,” explains Louise. ​
In the programme, Louise meets a woman who has survived a sexual assault by an unlicensed cab driver and goesundercover with the Metropolitan Police’s Cab Enforcement Unit unit, who ensure these drivers are kept off the road.
So what should you do to stay safe?
Here’s Louise’s guide to getting home the right way:
If you know you’re going out, it’s worth booking your cab home before you head off, so you’re not making decisions at 2am when you’re cold and tired. You can skip the queues and you don’t have to worry there’ll be no cabs available either.
Remember, no one can approach you and ask if you if you want a cab whether that’s a mini cab or black taxi. If they do, don’t get in them. You either hail a black cab on the street, or you pre-book a licensed minicab via phone or an official app.
How do you know if a cab is legit? Look for the small round license on the front windscreen. A ‘private hire’ sticker is not enough.
Don’t assume that if you’re with other people you will be safe. If your friend or partner gets out to get cash, or you’re the last drop-off, you’ll be in a situation where you are alone in the car.
When you think your cab has arrived, don’t ask them if they are waiting for you. Let the driver tell you the name the taxi is booked for and where they are going.
Wrong Way Home?, Sunday, 8pm, London Live, Sky channel 117. Viewers outside London can watch at londonlive.co.uk.