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PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2019 9:35 pm 
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I'm assuming the headline below should read 'Uber and other PH drivers at breaking point'

So no HCs targeted? :-s 8-[


Uber and taxi drivers at breaking point over vandalism crisis in Portsmouth

https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/crime ... -1-9120049

TAXI and Uber drivers across the city have been left fuming after an increase in vehicle vandalism is leaving them out of pocket.

Vehicles have been keyed, car windows have been smashed and in one case acid was thrown over the bonnet and wheels of taxis and private hire vehicles including Uber, Aqua Cars and City Wide taxis.

Image
Image: Chris Moorhouse/The News, Portsmouth

Kieran Clark has worked for Uber for eight weeks and has already had his car vandalised twice.

The 21-year-old from Portsmouth said: ‘It causes such inconvenience to drivers due to the time it takes to clean up the mess as well as the financial implications of missing at least a day’s work to fix the damage and the cost of the repair itself.’

Colleague Peter Baltateanu from Romania has worked for Uber for three years and said the problem has become much worse in the last few years.

Image
Image: Chris Moorhouse/The News, Portsmouth

The 36-year-old said: ‘We have a Facebook group of Uber and private hire vehicles in the city and people are posting on there once or twice a day about it.

‘It is really awful that we are being targeted because we are just making a living and it can really disrupt how much we can work when we then have to go and get it fixed.’

Uber employees told The News that Portsmouth City Council enforces that Uber stickers be visible on cars at all times even if they aren’t being used as taxis.

Peter said: ‘When we park up for the night, people then break in thinking there will be cash inside but Uber runs a cashless system and most taxis take money out anyway.’

Image
Image: Chris Moorhouse/The News, Portsmouth

Kieran added: ‘I know a majority of Portsmouth licensed drivers have suggested that the council could allow us to remove livery from the side of the cars to make them less of a target.

‘As Havant licensed cars are allowed to be used without livery I don’t see why this should be a problem for us to do the same and if it stops the vandalism then it can only be a positive option.’

A spokeswoman for Portsmouth City Council said: ‘The issue has been raised with us and we are working with taxi drivers and looking at options to minimise the number of incidents.’

Six other drivers also contacted The News regarding damage to their cars.

Hampshire police said that statistics on specific taxi and private hire car vandalism was not held.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:23 pm 
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Taxi drivers and council to tackle 'terrible' spate of vandalism in Portsmouth

https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/polit ... -1-9142003

TAXI drivers and residents will be called to a public meeting in a bid to tackle a 'terrible' two-year spate of vandalism that has seen windows smashed, paintwork keyed and acid thrown over car bonnets in Portsmouth.

The city council's licensing team will take the views of those affected, including taxi firms, self-employed cabbies and Uber drivers, once the general election is over.

Previously concerns were raised that taxis were being 'targeted' due to the mandatory signs on their sides.

Peter Baltateanu who has worked for Uber in the Portsmouth area for three years has had his car windows smashed recently. He said: 'You can see they're targeting taxis, it's the cars with stickers on and the other cars have no damage on them.'

Drivers have been left out of pocket as they are expected to cover the excess insurance costs. They also lose business while their cars are being repaired.

Glenn Madden, the manager of City Wide taxis, estimated there were more than 100 incidents at City Wide in just one year.

'That's just us, I imagine it's hundreds across the city,' he said.

'I've worked for City Wide since it started in 1986 and in the last two years it has been a real challenge.

'I think it's mindless thugs doing this. It's not just one area of Portsmouth, it's the whole city.'

He agreed there was no longer a need for signs on the side of the cabs. He said: 'Young people now order a taxi on their phone and they get sent the registration number of the car and sometimes the driver's name. There's no need to have something on the side of the car.'

Tory Councillor Donna Jones agreed. She said: ‘Portsmouth City Council is quite overburdensome in terms of the amount of signage which it requires a taxi to have.

‘I’m calling on the council's licencing department to review their policy about the amount of signage on a car to try to reduce the crime that’s happening to taxi drivers.’

Chairman of the council's licensing committee, Councillor Claire Udy, revealed a public meeting would take place after the general election on December 12.

She said: 'We are going to listen to the concerns and ideas of drivers and residents. Ultimately it will be the decision of the committee to make.

'We are doing everything we can do that the time allows us. The process of the council is very slow, we can only run as fast as the process will allow.'


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:28 pm 
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Portsmouth operator wrote:
He agreed there was no longer a need for signs on the side of the cabs. He said: 'Young people now order a taxi on their phone and they get sent the registration number of the car and sometimes the driver's name. There's no need to have something on the side of the car.'

:-k

Quote:
Tory Councillor Donna Jones agreed. She said: ‘Portsmouth City Council is quite overburdensome in terms of the amount of signage which it requires a taxi to have.

‘I’m calling on the council's licencing department to review their policy about the amount of signage on a car to try to reduce the crime that’s happening to taxi drivers.’

From what the photos show, the signage doesn't seem particularly burdensome compared to elsewhere.

But does look odd if Havant cars allowed to work in area without same stickers, as was mentioned in the first article:

Quote:
‘As Havant licensed cars are allowed to be used without livery I don’t see why this should be a problem for us to do the same and if it stops the vandalism then it can only be a positive option.’

But I suppose that's getting on to the whole cross-border thing and different licensing requirements.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:25 pm 
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It's very noticeable now that Fareham and Havant cars frequently only display the plate whilst Portsmouth and Southampton vehicles are fully 'logo'd.'


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:33 pm 
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Wasn't it round here that there was that arson attack on a PH operator a few years ago ?

I seem to remember there were trade wars going on then

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:46 pm 
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Yes. AndiCars fleet went up in flames. Local gossip implicated a large Portsmouth operation but, it is rumoured that they are now one and the same company. :?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-englan ... son-attack


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:23 am 
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As per last time round, I suspect 'Uber and other private hire drivers' might be a more accurate headline here.


Pleas of taxi and Uber drivers in Portsmouth to be heard over vandalism fears

https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/polit ... rs-1622924

PLEAS from city taxi and Uber drivers to scrap permanent signs on their cars amid alleged vehicle damage will be heard at a meeting next week.

Members of Portsmouth City Council's licensing committee are due to consider the concerns of private hire and hackney carriage drivers following what was described as a 'terrible' spate of vandalism.

Drivers have argued that identifiable signs on their cars make them targets for vandals and are asking to use temporary magnetic signs.

Uber driver Peter Sutherland said: 'It is our belief that taxi and private hire vehicles are being singled out for wanton vandalism, because they are easy targets.

'All vehicles are adorned with operators’ livery, council livery, a taxi/private hire licence plate (rear of vehicle), in addition to windscreen stickers and an internal sticker, both showing the vehicle licence number.

'That makes seven pieces of identification, which has to be regarded as total overkill.'

According to police data Portsmouth had the highest number of recorded vehicle crimes in Hampshire in 2018 with 2,704.

The following year there were 1,656.

However, Inspector Marcus Cator, neighbourhood inspector for Portsmouth believed the taxi signs were not linked to vehicle vandalism. He said: 'Regards the livery on cars, I cannot provide any evidence to suggest that taxi drivers or their cars are targeted for damage or assaults within Portsmouth.

'We do have a very large taxi demographic and they do suffer from crime within their work and role, however, this is largely unreported.'

Andrew Peters, secretary of the GMB Brighton and Hove taxi section, agreed. He said: 'As there are many Portsmouth private hire vehicles working here in Brighton we consider that it would be a retrograde step if these vehicles were allowed to remove livery identification.

'Once a private hire vehicle is out of sight of their respective licensing enforcement officers sadly they tend to bend and break rules.

'We recommend that the council approves the use of a window sticker that says "no money or valuables are left in the vehicle" should any driver wish to display this.'

Councillors will debate taxi livery at a licensing meeting on Thursday, February 20.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:27 am 
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Brighton & Hove GMB wrote:
'We recommend that the council approves the use of a window sticker that says "no money or valuables are left in the vehicle" should any driver wish to display this.'

Meant to mention that as a possible solution in Worcester the other day, but forgot - maybe worth trying rather than leaving motors unlocked overnight :-s

Certainly see a few of those stickers in the likes of Dundee. Not sure if they're the end of the story, but no doubt they'll manage to deter some, particularly the more opportunist thieves.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:01 pm 
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StuartW wrote:
Brighton & Hove GMB wrote:
'We recommend that the council approves the use of a window sticker that says "no money or valuables are left in the vehicle" should any driver wish to display this.'

Meant to mention that as a possible solution in Worcester the other day, but forgot - maybe worth trying rather than leaving motors unlocked overnight :-s

Certainly see a few of those stickers in the likes of Dundee. Not sure if they're the end of the story, but no doubt they'll manage to deter some, particularly the more opportunist thieves.



That is of course assuming that this isn't a mafia style campaign to drive away the competition :wink:

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:55 pm 
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edders23 wrote:
That is of course assuming that this isn't a mafia style campaign to drive away the competition :wink:

True, but the targeted drivers seem to be assuming that it's workaday vandals and thieves rather than trade rivals, so I suppose they're in a better position to assess that than us.

But who knows? :?


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 12:15 pm 
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Permanent signs on taxis across Portsmouth scrapped as drivers complain of 'terrible' vandalism

https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/peopl ... sm-1886123

CITY taxi and Uber drivers toasted victory to scrap permanent signs on their cars - to lift restrictions on trade and counter alleged vehicle damage - after councillors gave the green light to the calls.

Members of Portsmouth City Council's licensing committee agreed to change the policy to allow magnetic or permanent signs on vehicles along with registration numbers.

It came during a heated meeting where committee chairman Claire Udy was so exasperated she swore before abruptly calling a break and then apologising for her profanity.

The meeting heard how private hire and hackney carriage drivers have been victim to 'terrible' vandalism - with signs on their cars making them targets.

The drivers argued temporary magnetic signs offered a solution to their plight.

Uber driver Peter Sutherland said: 'Livery should be optional. It is unfair to resist our right to free trade.

‘All we were asking was for livery to be optional. Cars would still have six pieces of signage on them so the public would still feel safe.

‘Vehicles are being attacked that wouldn’t be attacked if they were unmarked.’

The view was supported by Portsmouth Hackney Carriage representative Chris Dixon.

‘When drivers have gone home they just want to take signage down. We don’t feel damage to our vehicles is a red herring,’ he said.

‘Our drivers will still show livery when driving. They can’t just go to Gatwick to do some moonlighting.’

But not everyone agreed. Aqua Cars manager Bruce Hall told members to reject magnetic signage. ‘You will be opening a big can of worms. It will be a race to the bottom,’ he said.

‘Cars get damaged whether they have signage on them or not.’

He added: ‘People want to know what vehicle they are getting into.

‘Other councils are looking at you. It is a hot potato and someone needs to make a stand.’

Licensing manager Nickii Humphreys urged members to reject magnetic signage saying it was contrary to law as well as putting the public at risk.

‘Signage makes people aware of the vehicle they are getting into,’ she said. ‘It is important to protect the public, especially the vulnerable.’

Councillor Lee Mason, though, pointed out that ‘59 per cent of the country use magnetic signage’.

According to police data Portsmouth had the highest number of recorded vehicle crimes in Hampshire in 2018 with 2,704. The following year there were 1,656.

But a police report submitted to the meeting claimed there was no evidence of taxi drivers being singled out by vandals.

Members will now meet next month to discuss how the policy - which would go-ahead for a 12-month trial - will be implemented.

But taxi drivers, on both sides of the debate, said after the unanimous committee decision: ‘They won’t go back now.’


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 12:17 pm 
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Quote:
It came during a heated meeting where committee chairman Claire Udy was so exasperated she swore before abruptly calling a break and then apologising for her profanity.

:-#


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 12:27 pm 
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Quote:
He added: ‘People want to know what vehicle they are getting into.

Sums it up nicely for me.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 12:29 pm 
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Quote:
Licensing manager Nickii Humphreys urged members to reject magnetic signage saying it was contrary to law as well as putting the public at risk.

So licensing councillors have gone against advice from licensing officials, including advice that it was contrary to law. [-X

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