North Northamptonshire Council has issued a warning to residents after the taxi plate ‘HCV/5’ was stolen from a vehicle in Rushden.
All taxis that are registered with the local council must display a licence plate, always on the rear of the vehicle, and sometimes on the front and rear of the vehicle. This plate will show a unique number. There is a concern that the stolen plate could be fitted to another vehicle that may be used to commit a crime.
Cllr Jason Smithers, Leader of North Northamptonshire Council, said: “This theft has been reported to the police and the plate number has been decommissioned, but sadly a stolen licence plate can have an impact on the wider community and those using taxis should be extra vigilant.”
Cllr Steven North, Executive Member for Growth & Regeneration, added: “When using taxis, wherever possible, pre-book a taxi and ask the driver for the name of the booking before you get in. It is always useful to keep the number of a reliable firm with you, so you don’t get caught out.”
When travelling by taxi, the council has issued the following advice:
Plan how you’re going to get home - pre-book a taxi in your name and leave the taxi booking details with a friend or relative, or use a licensed hackney carriage waiting at an official taxi rank.
Always keep the number of a reliable taxi firm with you or identify the location of official taxi ranks.
Avoid taxis that tout for business and are unlicensed.
When the taxi arrives, check it is the one you booked by asking for the name in which it was booked. If in doubt, don’t get in.
A taxi driver must always wear a badge showing their photograph. Check the driver is wearing his/her badge.
If travelling alone, always sit behind the driver in the back seat.
If you feel uneasy, ask to be let out.
Stick with your friends and choose a meeting point for if you get separated.
Never accept a lift from a stranger.
Follow current coronavirus guidance around travelling in taxis.
If you spot the plate ‘HCV/5’ being used, the council are asking that you report as much detail as possible to the Police on 101.