02 December 2008
Big Brother winner Rachel Rice is supporting Gwent Police, together with the five local authorities, to launch an initiative designed to help people get home safely after a night out.
The initiative, called CABSAFE, is being launched just in time for the Christmas party season. The initiative enables someone in need of a taxi to simply text CAB to 83222 to receive a text back with the numbers of three randomly picked licensed and regulated Private Hire/Hackney Carriage operators closest to their location.
Their location is pinpointed via mobile phone mast location through their mobile phone signal. Participating taxi firms have agreed to prioritise calls from vulnerable females.
This is the second such initiative in Wales. The scheme was launched in Carmarthenshire in August 2006 and has received more than 1800 requests since that time. Administration of the Gwent initiative will remain with Carmarthenshire County Council but all five local authorities in Gwent will have access to the database, monitor the use of it and can make alterations to it, for example, if a taxi driver needs to be taken off the database.
Taxi operators in each of the local authority areas have been contacted to join and so far, 56 have signed up for the initiative. Posters publicising the initiative have been placed in relevant places including licensed premises, council buildings, hairdressers, take aways, colleges, retail outlets, hospitals and doctors surgeries. Business cards have been given to taxi operators taking part in the initiative so they can be handed out to customers.
Inspector Terry Davies, Community Safety Department, Gwent Policesaid:
"This is a major step forward in making sure people get home safely after a night out. During the Christmas season we are urging people to be responsible when they go out for the night and getting home safely is a major part of it.
Ideally party goers need to pre book a taxi or pre arrange a lift and make sure they get it but for those who find themselves at the end of the night without a cab, this service will at least provide numbers for licensed and regulated taxi firms who have agreed to give vulnerable females priority.
We are grateful to Rachel for helping us launch the initiative inGwent: we believe she will help us get the message out to young people and young females in particular about the benefits of this initiative and being responsible about getting home safely"
Cllr Lyn Ackerman, cabinet member for the environment said:
"We at Caerphilly County Borough Council are delighted to support this excellent new CABSAFE initiative, which is being launched in time for the Christmas party season. The initiative is great in that it offers peace of mind to those who find themselves without a taxi at the end of the night, and ensures that they get home safe and sound via a fully licensed and regulated taxi company.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to only use the services of fully licensed taxis. If in any doubt at all, please do make use of this fantastic new CABSAFE scheme, and help ensure that this Christmas is an enjoyable and safe one for all."
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