Drivers fearful after spate of knifepoint minicab robberies in Ilford

Redbridge Police have said they think the robberies are linked. The attackers threaten the minicab d

Redbridge Police have said they think the robberies are linked. The attackers threaten the minicab drivers with a knife. Picture: Katie Collins/PA Wire/PA Images PICTURE POSED BY MODEL - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Police have warned minicab drivers after at least a dozen knifepoint robberies in Ilford since the beginning of August.

This is the leaflet that Redbridge Police distributed to minicab companies warning them about the ro

This is the leaflet that Redbridge Police distributed to minicab companies warning them about the robberies. - Credit: Archant

The incidents are believed to be linked, and the police have sent out a warning leaflet to taxi companies in the area.

It explains how the robberies are carried out: “A taxi is called to a location where three black males are waiting in the street who enter the taxi.

“The driver is assaulted or threatened with a knife then steal property.”

One Ilford driver has said he will quit unless the police catch the culprits.

The man, who declined to be named, said: “I will stop driving taxis, it is too dangerous.

“What will happen to my family if someone kills me, I have children. I cannot play with my life.”

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The man was beaten and robbed at knifepoint in Francis Road, Ilford, at 5am on August 29. He did not work for a week out of fear after the incident.

“I had been doing a 12-hour shift and I was about to go home. It said it was a five or 10 minute job so I thought I would take it.”

“They climbed into the taxi, one sitting in the front next to me and two in the back.”

The three attackers were driven from High Road, around the corner on to Francis Road.

“They put a knife up on my throat and they took the money, about £220 or £230. They started punching me as well.

“I still cannot understand what has happened. Within two or three weeks there has been 13 or 14 attacks.”

Minicab companies told the Recorder they were concerned for the safety of their drivers.

A 28-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of robbery.

He has been bailed to a date in October pending further enquiries.

Det Insp Holly Simon, from Redbridge CID, said: “We are working closely with taxi drivers to reassure them and provide them with the necessary support. Police patrols have been increased in the effected areas.

“I would urge members of the public who see offences taking place or suspect that a group may be about to commit a crime to call police on 999.”

Anyone with information should call Redbridge CID on 101, or alternatively Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Enquiries continue.

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