A woman was sexually assaulted by taxi driver in Jesmond
Northumbria Police have warned all students of the potential danger
Northumbria Police are investigating two separate reports of sexual assault by touching in Newcastle city centre and in Jesmond.
Police are therefore warning students to organise to go home with a group of friends, rather than alone, and to pre-book or use registered taxi ranks. Newcastle University passed on the statement from Northumbria Police to all students on Friday afternoon.
In a statement Northumbria Police confirmed that a woman was sexually assaulted in a while while parked in Orchard Place in Jesmond. The statement said: “She was taken to Jesmond and after the car stopped and parked up the driver touched the woman inappropriately. She screamed, fled the car and reported the incident to police.”
The man is described as being an Asian male, in his late 20s, with short dark hair and a stubble beard. He was wearing dark clothing and did not speak with an accent local to Newcastle.
In the email send to all students Northumbria Police said: “There have been two separate reports of sexual assault by touching in Newcastle City Centre, and we believe these may have been committed by a Taxi driver.
“Investigations for both incidents are in the early stages and enquiries are being carried out to identify the offender.
“What we don’t want is people getting into unlicensed taxis – by that I mean people who do taxi runs in their own cars, who are unlicensed and who could be anyone.”
Taxi drivers that are registered with the local council are subject to stringent checks conducted on them in the form of CRB prior to being issued with a license.
Police also said: “We encourage people to pre-book or use a registered taxi rank in order to get a taxi, all taxi drivers must display their taxi licence badge for public view when working in an official capacity, and licensed vehicles should display a taxi licence plate and relevant signage including the taxi number.
“Licensed taxis must display taxi plates both in and outside of the vehicle and it is always worthwhile taking note, where possible, of the taxi license number or the driver’s details.
“As a precaution we also recommend people arrange to go home in a group of friends and if possible use an authorised taxi rank.”
Enquiries are ongoing into the incidents and anyone with any information that could help with investigations is asked to contact police on 101 quoting reference number 647 19/02/17.