Police request information after sexual assault by taxi driver in Jesmond

Northumbria Police are asking for information following a sexual assault in Jesmond last month.

Between the hours of 3am and 4am on February 19th, a woman was sexually assaulted by a taxi driver on Orchard Place in Jesmond, Newcastle.

The woman was touched inappropriately by the taxi driver when it parked up in Jesmond. She fled the car and reported the incident to the police.

There also reports of another incident of the same nature, again by a taxi driver, in Newcastle City Centre. Northumbria Police have issued precautionary advice to students via the universities.

The taxi involved in the incident in Jesmond is said to be a black hackney-style cab.

There are a total of 3,606 licensed drivers in Newcastle according to council records, of which 629 are Hackney carriages – though when pressed by JesmondLocal, police said they could not confirm the hackney-style cab was officially licensed.

The driver was described as an Asian male in his late 20s, with short dark hair and a stubble beard. He did not speak with a local Newcastle accent and was wearing dark clothing.

The woman got into the taxi somewhere in the Pilgrim Street area sometime after 3am. She was taken to Jesmond and when the car stopped the incident took place.

Enquiries are currently ongoing and police ask that anyone with any information, which could help with the investigation, contact the police on 101.

Police are now encouraging people to pre book or use a registered taxi rank. Licensed taxis must display taxi plates both in and outside of the vehicle.

Northumbria Police advise that when possible it is worthwhile to take note of the taxi’s license number or the drivers details when getting into one. They also recommend that people arrange to go home in groups.

All drivers who are licensed through the relevant Local Authority have stringent checks conducted on them in the form of CRB prior to being issued with a licence. The police are asking people, as a precaution, not to use unlicensed taxis.

Violence and sexual offences were the second most common type of crime, after anti-social behaviour, in the areas of Jesmond and Heaton in-between January 2016 and December 2016, according to Northumbria police statistics.