Mobile phones have become the weapon of choice in London city councils campaign to curb the number of sexual assaults on women using minicabs. Each month in the capital an average of 10 women are raped or sexually assaulted by unlicensed cab drivers. But now women can receive the phone numbers of safe cab firms by sending a text message on their mobile phones. By texting the word HOME to 60835, users of this service will receive the numbers of two licensed minicab firms and one black cab company near them. The text campaign is to be advertised widely on radio, in cinemas and on posters around town.
The texts cost 35p plus standard network rate. All private hire vehicles in London must be pre-booked and should display a yellow license disc on their windscreen. As part of a general move toward regulating the private vehicle hire sector, all minicab drivers are due to be licensed within the next 12 months.