Revellers enjoying a Friday or Saturday night out in Ipswich will benefit from a Taxi Marshal Service, from Friday 25th October. The scheme will be available from 11pm to 4am at Dogs Head Street.
The main objective of the scheme is to aid the reduction of violent crime once the pubs and clubs close their doors. It has been funded by Ipswich Central, Suffolk’s Police Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore, and Ipswich Borough Council. £5000 from each organisation will ensure a sustainable Taxi Marshal Scheme in Ipswich until at least October 2014.
Taxi Marshal schemes have only been piloted in Ipswich in the past but have been used extensively and very successfully in a number of other places including Kingston upon Thames and Chelmsford. These locations have found the scheme highly beneficial.
Without Marshals, fewer taxi drivers are prepared to work late on Fridays and Saturdays because of the threat of anti-social behaviour, primarily drink related, leading to damage to vehicles and personal injury to drivers and a high number of instances of fares not being paid at arrival at the destination. An increase in drivers leads to a faster reduction in queues and people move through much faster.
Marshals will mainly assist the public by ensuring; that queues are orderly, minimising queue jumping; minimising associated violence, ensuring disorder and anti¬-social behaviour are minimised; reporting illegal vehicles; retaining contact with other Town Centre Security, Town Pastors, Police and CCTV; checking people have money before entering the taxi, preventing people entering a taxi where they are not in a fit state to travel; disposing of any bottle, glasses, cans and fast food before getting on board; ensuring correct number of passengers board; providing an umbrella service when the weather is bad and generally giving advice regarding safety at night.