There’s been a lot of talk about the price of a Taxi.

Many people say we are expensive and that they would rather use the cheap minicab touts.
But what price do you put on your safety?
Below is a story sent to Taxi Leaks by a victim of a minicab predator. Just one of the alleged 21 minicab rapes from the last year.
That’s just the ones that were reported, the Met Police suggest 90% of rapes and sexual assaults go unreported. This factor would put the yearly figure closer to a staggering 200, or to put it another way, approximately 4 a week.
The fact is, a safe Taxi home is not expensive,
Rebecca’s Story:

“I can still remember certain smells, that send me into a state of panic. The vanilla air freshener, his breath from the Red Bull he kept swigging and his cheap aftershave was pungent.

These smells always take me back to that moment he held me down and raped me in the back of his minicab.

I’d been out clubbing with my friend in Shoreditch and it was the early hours of the morning. We’d had a good drink and now ready for bed, we stood on the kerb looking for the orange light of a Taxi to take us home

Just as we were about to phone for a taxi, a private hire minicab pulled up. The driver asked if we wanted a cab. He asked us where we were going, my friend Brenda lived on Garret Lane, then me onto Putney. He quoted a ridiculously cheap fare and even agreed to go via McDonald’s Wandsworth drive through as Brenda was hungry.

We arrived at my friends house. ‘Text me as soon as you’re home’ she said.

The minicab drove off again but stopped at a newsagents. ‘I’m thirsty,’ he said. ‘Do you want anything?’

I asked for a Lucozade, thinking it might help sober me up.

But when he handed it to me, I was aware that the seal had been broken. Halfway through drinking it, I realised it seemed to taste weird, so I stopped drinking. I never thought for one moment that he’d actually spiked my drink.

At some point, Brenda called my phone;

‘Where are you?’ she asked worriedly.
But before I could answer, the driver snatched the phone and said “She wants to come home with me”, then he laughed, which really freaked me out.

Things were becoming more blurry and I could hear Brenda going mad, shouting at him to take me straight home, but he just laughed.

He slipped the phone back into my bag and I started to relax slightly as the area seemed familiar. But at the last minute, he didn’t turn into my street. Instead, he pulled into a deserted side street.
He got out and came round to my door and then roughly pulled me out. That’s when I started to scream.
He grabbed my neck in a head lock and said he would kill me if I screemed again. He opened the rear door and pushed me onto the back seat and climbed in on top of me, ripping at my clothing. My whole body froze, and I blacked out.

When I came round, he was still on top of me. I could hear him, I could smell him, but I couldn’t feel him. It was like my body, my mind, my ability to talk, everything was paralysed.

When he was done, he dragged me out on the pavement, almost naked and he drove off.

I lay there crying until a young couple in a passing car pulled up and called the police. Brenda had heard everything, as when he’d put the mobile in my bag, he failed to turn it off.

Through CCTV the driver was traced and arrested. Although the evidence against him was strong, he denied rape. When I stood up in court, his barrister called me a liar and said I’d offered sex in exchange for the fare. I felt isolated and frightened all over again.

But with the witness statements from my friend and the young couple, plus the police drug test result, the verdict came back guilty. I broke down, overwhelmed to know that people had believed me. The driver was sentenced to nine years.

It’s been tough, but with counselling, I’ve finally realised that although the attack will always be a part of me, I won’t let it take over my life.”


For confidential advice and support contact Rape Crisis on 0808 802 9999