Driver's tips on how women can stay safe in taxis

Women have said getting into a taxi alone with a male driver is a scary experience

Women have said getting into a taxi alone with a male driver is a scary experience - Credit: PA Wire

An Ipswich taxi driver has shared his advice on how women can stay safe when getting a cab - after the disappearance of Sarah Everard prompted women to speak up about their fears.

The 33-year-old went missing when walking home in Clapham earlier this week. Human remains found in Kent have now been confirmed to be hers.

Sarah Everard, 33, who left a friend's house in Clapham, south London, on Wednesday evening at around 9pm

Sarah Everard, 33, who left a friend's house in Clapham, south London, on Wednesday evening at around 9pm - Credit: PA Media

The Ipswich taxi driver, who has worked in the industry for more than a decade, asked not be named but wanted to share what he has learned during his time behind the wheel.

Many women choose to text a friend or loved one when they ride alone in a taxi, to ensure there is a trail of evidence to follow if something were to happen.

While they can note down an Uber driver's name, or the car's number plate, this driver advised checking in the left-hand corner of the car to see an Ipswich Borough Council badge - where there should be a string of numbers to identify the driver and vehicle.

If this is sent to friends or a loved one, it could be crucial in quickly leading police to your whereabouts should you go missing - or help you find a particular driver if you leave valuables inside by accident and need to reclaim them.

The driver said that, over the years, he has built up a routine to put women at ease when they hail his taxi, so they can relax during their journey.

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"I begin by saying: 'Hello my dear, where are we going?' to be nice and friendly," he said. 

"Then, within the first 30 seconds or so, I make sure I yawn and say: 'I can't wait to finish my shift in a few hours so I can get home to my wife and kids.' 

"Then they usually ask how old they are and what their names are and, the more information I tell them about myself, the less nervous it makes them.

"If a man wanted to do something, then he wouldn't begin talking about his family and telling a woman all these details — it's just something very simple I can do to help them feel safer."

The death of the young London woman has prompted a national discussion about safety.

Ipswich women have shared their thoughts, as well as Ipswich Star and EADT social media assistant Amy Peckham-Driver.

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