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Crackdown on rogue cabbies in city centre.

A CRACKDOWN on rogue taxi drivers was staged on Tyneside to protect the safety of the public.

More than 40 drivers were stopped during the operation and 25 defects were uncovered including problems with lighting, tyres and incorrect signage.

Officers carried out the sting in Newcastle city centre on Friday in a bid to assess the vehicle safety of both private hire and hackney taxis.

The joint crackdown was carried out by Northumbria Police's city centre neighbourhood policing team and Newcastle City Council's taxi licensing department.

Neighbourhood beat manager PC Zoe Hingston joined council officials to stop and check vehicles and ensure they were safe enough to transport members of the public.

She said: "Operations such as this one not only ensure that passengers are getting into roadworthy vehicles driven by legitimate drivers, but also send out the message to others that we are working with our partners at the city council on these regular initiatives to monitor vehicles using the city centre.

"It's important people are aware of their personal safety when enjoying a night out in the city centre, and this includes ensuring they use a properly licensed taxi, which is identifiable by the taxi licence plates and the driver's identity badge.

"I would encourage both taxi drivers and the public to report suspicious vehicles or people purporting to be taxi drivers to the police, on 03456 043043."
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 18, 2010
Words:230
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