The Crime Prevention Website


The vast majority of taxi and cab drivers are genuine and honest people who are simply doing their job to the best of their ability and so travelling to and from a destination in a taxi will be a perfectly safe experience. That said, on a few rare occasions, things have gone wrong and so it is always advisable to keep your wits about you and practice the following advice.

This information includes material provided by former police sergeant Christine Morrison, now of CMA Training . Christine offers training courses in a number of subject areas, including crime prevention, personal safety and business crime.

  • Whenever possible book your cab journeys in advance (both outbound and return) with your usual licensed taxi firm. This will be especially prudent for busy nights, such as Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve when demand is high
  • Ask your employer to make a list of reputable firms and/ or contact your council for details of local licensed minicabs
  • Make sure you’ve got the cab firm’s numbers on your phone and alternative firms’ numbers in case they don’t turn up or your arrangements change
  • Have your fare money ready and handy for when you arrive at your destination
  • Whilst you may not wish to appear unfriendly, sit in the back of a taxi, especially when on your own
  • If you can, share a taxi with a friend and, if practical, get out at the same destination
  • Don’t forget that most large towns and cities have two types of taxis; Licensed Hackney carriage vehicles that can pick passengers up from taxi ranks and can be flagged down (think of the London black cabs) and Licensed Private Hire vehicles  that have to be pre-booked and cannot be flagged down in the street
  • If you’re using a licensed private hire taxi make sure that you get into the one that you ordered. So, ensure you have sufficient information from your taxi firm about the vehicle that’s coming to pick you up.  The best taxi firms will tell you at the time or message your phone or call you with the details of the vehicle and the name of the driver automatically
  • The genuine private hire taxi firm with which you’ve booked will know who you are and will know where you’re going – ask the driver for this information and don’t get in the car if they don’t have this basic information. Don’t say things like “Are you here to pick up Susan?” – don’t volunteer information to the driver
  • Don’t assume that the driver who says to you “you called a taxi?” is from the firm you called (he may not even be a taxi driver at all!)
  • If you get into a taxi alone, message your mates and let them know you're OK and also tell them when you get home so they know you're safe. You could record the plate number or registration number of the vehicle - or use a camera phone to take a picture of the vehicle before you get in. Then text the details or send the photo to a friend or family member. A genuine taxi driver won’t mind this a bit
  • If you are concerned for your safety, instruct the driver to stop or drive to a busy area if possible. If the situation really worries you, attempt to attract the attention of other people Note the driver's badge number and report any problems to the taxi firm
  • Never give away any personal information during a conversation with the driver. If going on holiday and you’re worried about the security of your home and you’re uneasy about the driver give some indication that the place will be occupied during your absence
  • Have your door keys ready and enter your home quickly. Make sure there is a light outside your entrance door, preferably one that comes on automatically when it gets dark, so you can more easily open the door