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Taxi drivers fear attacks from boozed-up women

TAXI drivers are increasingly being attacked by boozed-up women.

Terrified cabbies have been battered with stiletto heels and had nail files held to their throats by women, as assaults by female passengers surge.

And often these drunken party girls get away with brutal attacks, as drivers are too embarrassed to report that they were beaten up by a woman.

Drunken women threatening to cry rape unless male drivers let them off their fare or even hand over all their takings from their night's work have also become more common, according to Irish Taxi Drivers Federation president John Usher.

Mr Usher said that drivers are increasingly reluctant to pick up women on their own due to the rise in attacks by female passengers in recent years.

He also revealed that in cases where a couple assault a driver, the woman is usually more violent than the man.

Mr Usher said: "The number of female passengers attacking taxi drivers has risen alarmingly in recent years.

"There was a time when it was safe to stop for a woman on her own, but unfortunately that is not the case today.

"Seldom has a week gone by when a taxi driver is not attacked, and it is increasingly more common that the person that assaulted him is a woman.

"Ten years ago, this would have been extremely rare.

"You no longer feel safe driving female passengers, especially in the early hours of the morning when they have been drinking heavily.

"Drivers are beaten with high-heeled shoes, slapped and punched by women on a regular basis. Very often if there is a couple in the taxi that get aggressive, the woman is the more violent and vicious of the two.

"I think the rise in female passengers attacking taxi drivers is due to binge-drinking and a rise in drug use."

Taxi drivers are often reluctant to report assaults by female passengers to gardai as they do not want to admit they were beaten up by a woman, Mr Usher said.

"Taxi drivers often do not report assaults by women as they are embarrassed that they were attacked by a female. This means many women who attack taxi drivers get away with it.

"And the women that do end up in court come across like little angels, instead of the vicious, drunk individuals a taxi driver came across on a Saturday night.

"With the unfortunate increase of drunken women attacking taxi drivers, I urge all drivers to report assaults by female passengers to gardai."

Many taxi drivers are also reluctant to collect boozed-up ladettes on their own as they fear being accused of sexual assault, according to Mr Usher.

He said: "It has become more common for women to threaten to cry rape if a driver does not let them off their fare, and in some cases they demand the driver hands over all his takings.

"In situations like this, when a female passenger is threatening to accuse the taxi-driver of assaulting her, they should drive straight to the closest garda station and report it.

"It is important that drivers do not give in to these threats."

Sunday Independent