Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Taxi drivers to boycott Newport ranks after attack

South Street Newport Image copyright Google
Image caption Taxi drivers are set to boycott the town's rank after the attack in South Street

Isle of Wight taxi drivers are set to boycott taxi ranks in Newport after three drivers were attacked by a gang.

A group of three women and two men attacked the drivers in the early hours of Sunday at the rank in South Street.

Firms say they will not be servicing any of the town's ranks at weekends between midnight and 07:00 BST.

They are calling for the council to bring in a marshal scheme at the ranks to improve night-time safety.

Hampshire Constabulary said the taxi drivers all received minor injuries and were left "badly shaken".

Two people from Newport - a man aged 22 and a woman aged 24 - and one man from Freshwater, aged 22, have since been arrested on suspicion of assault.

Phone footage

Desmond White, of Amar Taxis, said: "We've all had enough, working late at night on your own can put you in a dangerous situation.

"We need rank marshalling to safeguard taxi drivers."

Det Insp John Stirling, head of CID on the island, said: "This was a nasty attack on the taxi drivers and we won't tolerate this sort of behaviour."

He urged whoever had filmed the incident on their phone and posted it online to get in touch.

Police also said they would be meeting taxi drivers on Friday to discuss their concerns and said there would be an increased police presence in Newport on Friday and Saturday night.

Anyone with information about the attack is urged to contact police.

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