Black cab driver took Kilburn woman to police station ‘for asking to get fare money from her house’
PUBLISHED: 06:30 21 January 2016 | UPDATED: 11:08 21 January 2016
Â© Adam Tiernan Thomas
A Kilburn woman has vowed never to take another black cab after claiming her driver locked the doors and drove her to a police station after she asked to leave the cab to get the money for her fare.
Dog breeder Jade Georgiou, who lives in Oxford Road, was returning from a night out with friends in Shoreditch when, unable to book an Uber taxi, she flagged down a black cab just before 4am.
When she got home, the 28-year-old said she asked if she could hop out to fetch the £30 fee from the house where she lives with her parents. But the driver allegedly refused, locked the doors, and then drove her away from her home to a police station.
She said: “I’m never going to get a black cab by myself again, never. I don’t think many cab drivers auto-lock their doors – there was no way of me getting out. I understand people do run [without paying], but I was in a dress and heels, and I told him I’d be two minutes and pointed to my house.”
Ms Georgiou said she has been left traumatised by the journey on Friday night. She said: “When I got home, I asked him to let me run upstairs and get my money. I said ‘don’t worry, I’ll come back’ because I know people do run.
“He said no, and then I heard the doors lock, and he started to drive away. I said: ‘What are you doing? Where are you taking me? I have money’, but he said he was taking me to the police station. I was scared, and called the police myself.”
The driver stopped at Kilburn Police Station, which was closed.
Ms Georgiou said she was then held in the cab for another 30 minutes before officers arrived.
She added: “I’m really claustrophobic and asked him to open a window but he refused. By the time the police arrived I was so scared, I was hysterical. I just broke down and cried my eyes out. It’s not nice to be held without your consent. I was shaking, I was so scared knowing that I wouldn’t be able to do anything if he did attack me.”
Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA), said it was “normal practice and incredibly common” for taxi drivers to stop and wait for passengers to get money. He added: “We regret that in this case the experience has put someone off using black taxis in the future. It is very difficult to comment on individual incidents without full knowledge of what occurred, but our records do not indicate that the driver in this instance is an LTDA member.”
A spokesman for the police confirmed they were called before 4am by a taxi driver claiming a passenger had refused to pay her fare, and a female claiming the driver would not let her out of the cab. The incident was deemed a “civil dispute” and no arrests were made.