Revellers reminded to be on their guard to get home safely

Everyone visiting Leeds city centre at night are being reminded of a few simple checks to make sure they get home safely.

Leeds City Council is reminding people of the importance of making sure they get into a properly licenced taxi or pre-booked private hire vehicle to avoid taking risks with their safety, by starting a safety-awareness campaign to coincide with Freshers week.

Posters and leaflets asking ‘Do you know who is taking you home tonight’ have been produced to make people more aware of the risks of getting into an unlicensed taxi or private hire vehicle. These will be distributed during Freshers Week, as well as being on display in pubs and clubs across the city.

Councillor Rebecca Charlwood chair of the licensing committee said:

“With the influx of students returning to the city wanting to take advantage of the great nightlife here, we want to make sure their time in Leeds is as worry-free as possible.

“We are reminding people to keep their wits about them when choosing how to get home after a night out in Leeds as getting into an unlicensed taxi or private hire, is just like letting a complete stranger take you home – there are none of the safeguards that properly licensed drivers must adhere to.

“These guidelines are intended to help people make the right choices to get them home safely. By following a few simple steps you can avoid the potentially devastating result of getting in a car with the wrong person.”

To help revellers stay safe, Leeds City Council is asking them to remember a few simple facts:

• Taxis (officially called Hackney Carriages) can be hailed in the street. Most look like traditional black cabs, and all taxis have an illuminated ‘taxi’ sign on the roof.

• Private hire vehicles cannot be hailed in the street – they must be pre-booked with an operator, otherwise they are not insured and no record of the journey is kept.

• The driver must have an ID badge on display.

• The vehicle must have a Leeds City Council licence plate on the back.

• Cars cruising the street looking for customers are illegal and will be uninsured to take paying passengers.

The council is also offering some tips on staying safe:

• It is good practice to keep with you the number of a trusted licenced company with you.

• If possible book a taxi or private hire in advance and ask for the driver’s name, colour and make of car.

• Confirm the driver’s details when they arrive – is it the car you ordered?

• If you are ordering your car from a public place make sure no one overhears your name and address – anyone could pretend to be your taxi or private hire.

• It is always a good idea to share with a friend and sit in the back of the car.

• Text the licence number of the vehicle (displayed on the door) to someone at home in case you need to remember it after the journey.

• Be careful not to give any personal details to the driver if you chat to them.

• If you feel threatened ask the driver to stop in a busy area and get out of the car. If the driver refuses to stop call the police from your mobile and try to alert other drivers and pedestrians by waving and shouting out of the car.

Leeds City Council’s taxi and private hire licensing team are responsible for making sure that drivers, vehicles and operators meet the terms of their licence and that the trade in Leeds is operated in a professional manner. People can report any complaints or concerns about the taxi and private hire trade to the Taxi and Private Hire licensing section on 0113 3781570 or by emailing taxiprivatehire.licensing@leeds.gov.uk.


For media enquiries, please contact:

Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713

Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk