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Staying Safe in Taxis

If you need to travel by taxi it is important that you keep yourself safe.

Here is a safety checklist for you to use:

  1. Make sure you only travel in a licensed cab. This should either be a "Hackney Carriage" (the London style cabs) or a private hire vehicle. A private hire vehicle can be either a family size car or a people carrier, but it must also have a licence plate.

  2. An unlicensed cab will not have a licence plate, so look for this before you get in the vehicle. The licence plate will also have Sheffield City Council logo on it.

  3. You should never flag a car down in the street, you may be getting into an illegal, uninsured vehicle which could be potentially very dangerous. A hackney cab that is for hire will have an illuminated (usually orange) sign on the roof of the vehicle which indicates that it is for hire.

  4. If possible pre-book your taxi and ask for the call back facility, if it is available. When the taxi arrives, always make sure that the vehicle is from the taxi company that you called. It should have the company's stickers on the doors. Check the driver is wearing an identification badge, there may also be one on display at the front of the vehicle or on the partition between the driver and passengers.

  5. When ringing for a taxi make sure no-one can overhear you give personal details such as your name and address, because anyone could turn up and pretend to be your driver.

  6. Before you go out, make sure you have put your taxi fare in a safe place that is separate to the rest of your money. In doing this, you are less likely to spend it, making sure you can get home safely.

  7. Make sure you have enough money to pay for your journey. Ask the driver how much the fare will be before you start the journey to avoid any difficulty or embarrassment. It is a criminal offence to hire a taxi without the means to pay the fare. The taxi driver is within his / her right to call the police if you are unable to pay the full fare.

  8. Let someone know you are in the vehicle and on your way. Let them have the taxi licence number and if possible, make sure someone is waiting for you at your destination. The number of the licence will be on display in the vehicle, as well as on the plate on the rear of the vehicle.

  9. If you are travelling alone you may feel safer sitting in the back of the vehicle on the opposite side of the driver, so that you can see him / her in their mirror.

  10. If you chat to the driver, make sure you don’t give out any of your personal details.

  11. Never share a taxi with a stranger.

  12. If you feel threatened or uncomfortable for any reason, ask the driver to stop in a busy area, pay your fare and get out of the car.

  13. If you are unhappy with the taxi or private hire service, you can make a complaint to the licensed operator or to the Licensing Section at Sheffield City Council. You can contact them on (0114) 273 4005 or 273 4690. It would be helpful if you have a note of the license plate or vehicle registration.

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If you are concerned about another child or young person, follow this link: Referring a safeguarding concern to Children’s Social Care

Helpful organisations:

  • Childline for advice and support to children and young people. Phone 0800 1111 or visit the Childline website.

  • Connexions Direct - information and advice for 13-19 year olds. Phone 080 800 13 2 19 or visit the Connexions Direct website.

  • Kidscape is a Children’s charitythat gives practical advice to young people about bullying and keeping safe. Visit the Kidscape website

  • The Samaritans confidential helpline for young people experiencing feelings of distress or despair – tel: 08457 90 90 90. Visit The Samaritans website

  • Youth Access – Tel: 020 8772 9900. This organisation will put you in touch with local services that offer information, advice and counselling

  • The Hideout - for young people affected by domestic abuse. Visit The Hideout website.