Assault, Uber, Unlicensed Taxi Cabs & How to Stay Safe After Work
With the cold nights rapidly approaching, more and more of us will be looking to catch a Taxi. Normally as long as we are fairly alert then a registered taxi is often the safest way of travelling late at night. However as with everything the bad guys in society also know we think this and can use it to their advantage.
Police figures show that 214 women were sexually assaulted in the capital last year after getting into illegal minicabs and 54 raped. STORY
With the rise of Uber and other private hire type vehicles regulation is always a topic of concern and a regularly googled topic.
In many countries the ability to become a taxi driver is highly regulated with the City of London being one of the most recognised in the world with the iconic London Black Taxi. However if we travel outside of our own area or country we often take our prejudices and assumptions with us and that's when things can go wrong. Just because you come from an area where a taxi driver passes a criminal records check don't assume that this applies to another area/country/region. Also do not forget a rapist or thief who has not yet been caught will also pass any criminal records check. In most cities around the world there are licensed taxi services available however in each of those cities what a licencing system actually means is very different.
If you hail an unlicensed taxi without realising it you are increasing your risk levels significantly. You not only have the concerns about the actual mechanical safety of the vehicle itself but also of the driver.
Think for a moment, what better way to easily obtain your next victim than let them almost fall into the back of your car in the early morning after a night of celebrating or after the office party. STORY With peoples defences being severely handicapped due to tiredness or alcohol would they really notice that the displayed taxi licence wasn't genuine or that a licence was not displayed.
If you are unsure what to do then one of the safest places to catch a taxi from is a hotel or registered taxi rank such as at an airport or station. They normally have arrangements with approved companies and recognised drivers.
Hotel porters/doorman can sometimes be very defensive of their taxi rank using only recognised drivers. Obviously tipping etc. is involved but this doesn't matter to you, all you are interested in is the fact that this porter often knows or is related to the drivers.
People often say to me when I give talks or at conferences that they thought hotels would only call a taxi for their guests. That isn't normally the case and if it is just pretend that you have been visiting the hotel and seen a friend off and now want your own taxi. I have done this many times all around the world and no one has ever questioned me or refused to call a taxi. If the hotel simply calls a taxi by phone for you it’s still probably safer than if you hail one from the street.
As with many cases of self protection one of the easiest ways of increasing your safety is not to travel alone especially if your judgement is impaired following a celebration party. Act like a wild animal and stick with the herd, don't be the one that wonders off defenceless to be attacked by the lion stalking and watching the group.
My advice as always is to recognise the risks and plan to mitigate the risk. This is exactly the approach we take to risk throughout our life and business transactions so take it now with your personal safety.
Plan where you will be, with who and when and then you are able to pre-book and arrange transport and if at all possible stay with at least one other person you know and can trust.
The Sales Bit - here we go...
Tony works with Business Owners, Executives and their Teams to deliver training packages and presentations that enable them to ensure they and their teams remain safe and achieve their goals. Key individuals are essential assets to the business, its continued growth and success so make sure they understand the principles of self protection.
He is the Author of "Be Aware Take Care" driving forwards the understanding of self protection in a corporate environment, and specialises in the delivery of Coaching Programmes, Workshops and Keynote Presentations...
3 Things You Didn't Know About That Hotel Key Card
Myths and tips on travelling
1. The room card key does not hold all your guest information
For many years since the introduction of the card key there has been some concern that the key card you get at a hotel reception holds all your personal guest information. This simply isn't true in a reputable hotel. The key holds a room number and code that identifies the card to the room. In coming years this technology itself will be replaced as room keys working on mobile devices have been available for the past couple of years.
2. I'm a business traveller on my own I only need 1 key
Take the opportunity to have another card, if the first one wasn't slid into the programmer correctly you get a second chance to have a key card that works without returning to reception. You can then get the faulty card reset next time you pass the reception desk.
3. The most important for security - Use that second card
If you have one of the fittings on the wall that trigger the lights and sometimes the TV from the key card then use that second card to leave it in the slot when you are away from the room. Yes we know that's not very environmentally green but its a great safety tip. If someone is checking your room is unoccupied they will believe there is someone in the room as the lights and equipment is all on.
If you are in a hotel where the card doesn't activate the electricity then when you go out leave the lights and Television on. Often if you are in a nicer hotel with a turn down service they will do this anyway
Whether it’s handling the daily commute, navigating foreign cities or simply being aware of potential threats in Airports and Hotels – the training and techniques we provide will help you and your team stay safe when going about your work.
"Having known Tony professionally for a few years when I read his book 'Be Aware Take Care' I knew the message he was passing on was not only important for our client base here in Luxembourg but also would make a great presentation. His Presentation was in deed great and he got booked on the day to go to one of our clients to share his message to their team, I would highly recommend Tony".
Lynn Holland - Tower Training
“Being a frequent traveller I know the importance of avoiding conflict and Tony Willis has successfully captured the essentials on what to look for and how to act”
Magnus Lundgren , Strategic Sales Director Ericsson
“Business travelling is getting more and more uncomfortable with increased pressures on time and reduced budgets, especially in the big cities like Berlin, London and Paris. Rushing from one meeting to the next often under significant stress business travellers are especially vulnerable. Advice on how to avoid difficult situations and maintain personal safety in these situations is absolutely essential for today’s business community…”
Hans-Peter Portner, Global Transition & Transformation Manager ... See MoreSee Less