Robbers are very nervous when they are holding up someone and they are frequently armed with a gun. The typical robber is a young man who has a criminal record. Following are tips to help reduce the chances that your taxicab will be a target. The most important element to consider if you are robbed is to minimize the possibility of injury. Cash can be recovered, a life cannot.
The Cab Driver Situation
Cab drivers are in a unique situation. They intentionally invite strangers into their vehicle. There is inherent risk in this situation, because the Taxi Driver knows little or nothing about the fare they have just picked up. Being aware of this vulnerable position is the first step towards reducing your risks.
Crime Prevention Tips
All criminals are looking for the easiest opportunity to commit a crime. Having set policies and procedures for handling money and customers can reduce your chance of being chosen by the robbers. The following are suggestions which can reduce the likelihood of being a victim of robbery.
Before the Robbery
Read and follow written policies from your business regarding accepting fares, cash kept on person and reporting procedures in case of an emergency.
Cash on hand is a lure. Keep as little cash in the taxicab as possible.
Taxi Drivers should not wear expensive watches, rings, or jewelry while driving.
Use visual deterrents. Post your procedures in view of customers.
Never accept a fare without a stated destination, particularly if the instruction is to go out of town.
Always radio in your destination to your dispatcher at the start of a trip and the point of origination.
Never leave your taxi to pick up payment. Have the customer go and get the money. Never follow a customer out of the taxicab to pick up payment!
You are only required to provide curb to curb service.
Be alert to who you have in your cab. Make mental notes regarding race, sex, age, weight, clothing, hair, etc. This information is very important after a crime has occurred.
Do observe customer's attitude. Be on your guard if they appear nervous, apprehensive, or agitated. Note any unusual behavior.
If a passenger leaves your cab with the rear door open, DON'T GET OUT! Drive forward briefly to use inertia to slam the door shut. If you fail to do so, you invite a nearby accomplice to appear from nowhere and overcome you with the element of surprise.
Occasionally glance in the rear seat to see what your passenger is doing.
If you must drive into a dark alley or similar secluded area, reverse your car and back in. If you need to leave in a hurry, it is much easier to drive forward than in reverse.
Keep your doors locked.
Never admit to having a good shift in response to a customer inquiry.
While you may be required to accept flagged fare, if you feel your safety may be compromised, use discretion and common sense in accepting the fare.
During the Robbery
If a robber displays a firearm, or the suspect implies they have a weapon, you should react as if they do.
Do not resist. If you are confronted by a robber, cooperate.
Remain calm and alert. Donít make any sudden moves.
Be observant during the robbery without being obvious. A clear description of the suspect is crucial in making an arrest (race, sex, age, height, weight, clothing, hair, etc.).
Note direction the suspect fled in to help the police as they are responding to the scene.
After the Robbery
Have your dispatcher call the police immediately by dialing 911. Time is crucial to the police.
Do not disturb the scene of the crime and do not touch anything that could possibly become evidence.
Ask witnesses to remain at the scene.
Record all details of the crime, but do not compare notes with others.
Cooperate with police. You play an portant role in solving the crime.
If possible, remain at the scene until the police arrive.
If you have been robbed, have your dispatcher call 911 immediately and be prepared to provide a description of the robber(s).
Your life is the most important asset. Protect it by having a plan and following the listed precautions.
To order copies of this brochure contact:
The National Institute for the Prevention of Workplace Violence