Leeds cabbie wins apology from West Yorkshire Police

A taxi driver has won an apology from West Yorkshire Police over the force's handling of a car-jacking which he says left him in fear of his life.

Cabbie Sajid Hussain, who works for Morley Budget Cars, was hijacked following a fares row last month, but says he was "let down" by police who took more than 14 hours to call him back.

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In desperation, he took matters into his own hands and tracked down the suspects, arranging to meet them for a handover of his stolen car keys.

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However, despite warning the police of the meeting and of threats to kill him and harm his family, no officers turned up.

Squad cars and a dog team only arrived after a neighbour phoned 999 about the ensuing scuffle, Mr Hussain said.

The 32-year old says he will sue the force for 10,000, including six weeks in lost wages, damages and treatment costs for his mum, who he says became ill after learning of her son's ordeal.

An internal investigation has now been launched by West Yorkshire Police, after the case was looked at by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Today Mr Hussain won an apology from the force, after bosses admitted that their service fell short.

Mr Hussain had picked up a group in Morley and was dropping them off in Heckmondwike on November 6 when the alleged trouble broke out.

He said when he asked for his fare, they refused to pay so he said he would call the police. An argument broke out and one of the gang drove off with the taxi.

Mr Hussain said his car was later found abandoned but his keys, satellite navigation system, car radio and around 220 in cash were missing.

"I was very frightened," Mr Hussain said. "I rang the police a couple of time because I was really scared on my own."

Mr Hussain said police attended the hijacking after an hour and took basic details, but he waited 14 hours for a promised callback which never came.

In the end he tracked down the gang and phoned 999 to let police know about the meeting.

When he and his friends went to exchange the keys and 100 "ransom" cash, they were caught up in a brawl and a neighbour phoned police.

"The police arrived within three minutes and there were about 20

officers with dogs," Mr Hussain said.

A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said: "(As the complaint] is being looked at by a senior officer, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this time.

"Mr Hussain contacted us over the Bonfire weekend, one of the busiest times of the year, and the delay... was due to the volume of 999 calls that we were already dealing with.

"We have apologised to Mr Hussain as our service on this occasion has not met the standards we set ourselves."