Taxi firms threaten to boycott housing estate after drivers attacked

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Tanveer Hussain, right, and  his cousin Adnan Azeen with the taxi that was attacked on Saturday morning Tanveer Hussain, right, and his cousin Adnan Azeen with the taxi that was attacked on Saturday morning

Some minicab firms have threatened to boycott a Bradford housing estate after three drivers were threatened by passengers, one with a knife, in the space of a few hours.

Bosses of several companies will hold an urgent meeting this week to discuss the regular violence faced by their drivers in Ravenscliffe, with one saying no-one should risk their life for the sake of a few pounds.

Tanveer Hussain, who works for Eccleshill Premier Cars and lives in Killinghall Road, had a kitchen knife pulled on him by one of a group of four passengers he had driven to the estate at 2.45am on Saturday.

After dropping off the group – three men and a woman – at a post office cash machine, Mr Hussain saw one of the men drop and pick up a 7in blade before pointing it at him and demanding he hand over everything he had.

Mr Hussain got out of his cab, grabbed hold of the knife and scuffled with the man causing the two other men to get involved, one punching him and knocking him to the floor.

He ran off, pursued by his attackers, who fled when they saw he had come across a couple in the street who had called police for him.

When Mr Hussain returned to his cab, he found his satellite navigation system and mobile phone had been stolen.

A few minutes after the robbery, police received reports of a customer becoming aggressive in an argument over a cab fare in the same area, and a third report, at 3.19am, of a man attacking the window of another cab with a hammer before the driver managed to drive off.

Coupled with similar violent attacks in recent months, and drivers claiming they are pelted with rocks and eggs by children in the early evening, one cab boss has said that unless the situation is brought under control, they will have to stop services in the area.

Father-of-four Mr Hussain said: “We work for our families, going out in the early morning for people who need a driver. I work hard for my family, and we don’t need to go through situations like this.”

He said the group were in their mid-20s and the woman and two men were white and a third man was mixed race.

Wajid Jahangir, owner of the Eccleshill Premier Cars, said: “We’re just going to stop sending taxis. We can’t risk our drivers’ lives.

“This is going to effect other people in the area, including older people or people who need taxis to get to hospital, but we just can’t take the risk.”

Police have urged anyone with information about the attacks to contact 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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