Birmingham City Council are to review new security precautions after a rise in abuse, hate and harassment towards council members. According to a report in the Birmingham Live, the trigger for the review of new measures came when angry taxi drivers confronted members of the city's licensing committee earlier this month as cabbies voiced their protests against a new emissions policy which they believe will have a huge negative effect on their industry.
Some councillors reported feeling intimidated and left the meeting room during the altercation.
It was the latest incident amid rising concerns among some councillors about personal harassment and abuse.
Cabbies staged a two week protest against what they see as unfair treatment by Birmingham City Council and stated that direct action seemed to be the only route left to them in getting the council to sit round the table with them to negotiate terms. The imminent introduction of Birmingham City's Clean Air Zone is top of the agenda for the beleagured cabbies, with worried taxi drivers being told that they will have to spend in excess of £60,000 for a compliant vehicle or face being charged to drive into the zone. They are also furious at the way company's such as Uber, as well as drivers from other private hire companies, specifically those licensed in Wolverhampton, are being allowed to cross-border hire, potentially putting the public at risk, as well as being uncheckable due to those drivers being licensed outside of Birminghams City Councils' jurisdiction.
The demonstration led to angry scenes with police being called to intervene to try and break up the go-slow protest.
The council review would consider if any additional practical measures should be introduced at the Council House to enhance safety, and whether additional help should be introduced to support individuals targeted by abusive messages or encounters.
Image: Source; Geograph
Image: Author; Philip Halling