Leeds cabbies’ protest over yob attacks

Some of the drivers were invited in to Elland Road police station for a meeting
Some of the drivers were invited in to Elland Road police station for a meeting
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Dozens of taxi drivers descended on Leeds police headquarters to call for action over vandal attacks on cars by gangs of yobs.

About 50 drivers turned up at Elland Road police station yesterday (Jan 21) over claims that officers have failed to respond to repeated complaints about youths throwing missiles at cars.

Representatives from Roadrunners and Wheels said there had been dozens of incidents in the Halton Moor, Crossgates, Seacroft and surrounding areas in recent months.

Steve Howard, who runs Wheels, said he was considering suspending evening pick-ups in Halton Moor because the situation had become so dangerous.

“We’ve got a serious, dangerous problem that’s growing,” he said. “It seems to have really escalated recently. It’s affecting our business, it’s affecting the drivers’ livelihoods. They’re just trying to earn a living and they don’t deserve to be put at risk in this way.”

Driver Steve Johnson said: “About six weeks ago I was driving up York Road and a girl threw a breeze block off the footbridge. It smashed my windscreen. I was driving at about 40mph. I could have been killed.

“I rang the police and an officer came out to see me and took some details, but nothing has happened since.”

Mohammed Zahire, of Roadrunners in Crossgates, said: “We have got so many crime reference numbers, but nothing is being done.”

Chief Inspector Ian Croft said action was being taken against several suspects, including visits to their families and use of anti-social behaviour legislation. He added: “Clearly these attacks on private hire vehicles are an issue of real concern and frankly it is only down to pure luck that no-one has been seriously hurt.”