Ruth Mitchell

Taxi marshalls are back

Taxi Marshalls are back in the city centres of Newcastle and Sunderland to help manage taxi queues safely. The scheme proved very successful when it was trialled during the run up to Christmas last year. Operating Friday to Sunday, the scheme forms part of the Northumbria Police ‘When to stop?’ campaign to combat alcohol related disorder and violence. It is also part of Chief Constable Mike Craik’s pledge of total policing to tackle crime at all levels.In Newcastle, Taxi Marshalls are supported by the Safe Newcastle Partnership. Chief Inspector Kevin Wellden said: “By using Taxi Marshalls at two ranks in the Bigg Market and The Gate we have noticed a fall in crime and disorder. It also means that queues are being dealt with more efficiently and people don’t have to wait too long for a ride home. “The majority of people queueing for a taxi do so patiently and with good humour but the small minority who become violent will be dealt with effectively by police.“In Sunderland, Police Community Support Officers are based at the two busiest taxi ranks in Sunderland during weekend evenings to make sure revellers queue in a safe and orderly manner and prevent crime and disorder.Chief Inspector Jo Miskimmin said: “This initiative has made a real difference. Incidents of crime and disorder committed by people queueing has drastically reduced since we adopted the scheme. Passengers and taxi drivers have said they feel safer in the city centre with officers managing the queues.”

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