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Gardaí on standby to help taxi drivers who raise alarm over suspicious passengers

A number of taxi drivers have been targeted in west Dublin since the end of last year.
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TAXI DRIVERS WHO feel unsafe carrying a suspicious fare are now able to covertly tip off gardaí if they fear they are about to be robbed.

A number of drivers have been the victims of armed robberies and assaults, especially in the Tyrrelstown, Ongar, Clonee and Blanchardstown areas of west Dublin, since late last year.

On New Year’s Eve, a driver was threatened with an imitation firearm and robbed in the Hazelbury Park area of Clonee, west Dublin. The driver, although shaken, got to Blanchardstown Garda station where he gave gardaí a statement.

Now when drivers feel unsafe, they are able to send their location to a messaging group. Gardaí are then alerted, as well as taxi drivers in the area, who search for the roof sign number of the driver in trouble.

On many occasions, drivers have received an escort from gardaí – especially if the drivers are entering a housing estate which is considered a hotspot for anti-social behaviour.

Gardaí recently held a meeting in a Dublin city centre hotel where they urged drivers to share stories about attacks and robberies they had experienced.

The same half dozen housing estates kept cropping up and officers were able to establish a profile of the people carrying out the robberies.

Two teenagers have appeared in the Children’s court, charged with a number of  robberies on dates before Christmas 2017. Garda appeals have been issued for information in relation to other incidents, including the New Year’s Eve theft.

Ongar, Clonee, Tyrellstown areas

Many drivers are now avoiding picking up and dropping off in certain parts of Ongar, Clonee and Tyrellstown areas for fear they will be targeted.

A report on behalf of taxi drivers has been made to the National Transport Authority (NTA). It is understood that this was done as drivers fear that customers will make complaints about their refusal to travel to certain areas.

According to one man who informed the NTA, the body has urged drivers not to travel to certain areas if they feel unsafe. Drivers have also been told not to be concerned if contacted by the NTA if a customer makes a complaint about being refused service.

Last month, TheJournal.ie reported that taxi apps were being used to “lure” drivers to robberies.

Gardaí are urging drivers to do the following to protect themselves:

  • Drivers advised to be cautious on collection/drop off locations.
  • Pickups/drop offs in well-lit busy thoroughfares.
  • Utilise dash-cams for internal/external areas of vehicle.
  • Restrict opportunity for reach and grab of phone/cash.
  • Activate find my phone app, record IMEI number of phone (*#o6#).
  • Report all incidents and any information/suspicious activity.

Comments are closed as legal proceedings are under way in a number of cases. 

Read: ‘Don’t go if you feel unsafe’: Group of young men behind taxi driver attacks in west Dublin