• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Passengers called me a black b****** and threatened to kill my wife and children

Nadeem Hussain, 40, a taxi driver from Glasgow, campaigned for CCTV cameras to be permitted in cabs after becoming fed up with antisocial behaviour from passengers, including one shocking incident of racial abuse in which a man threatened to kill his family.

He said he had been contacted by many others in the trade who complained of incidents ranging from stabbings to having false allegations of sexual harassment made against them.

He said: "It is a jungle out there and despite the high-risk environment we are working in late at night, we seem to be the only people who don't have camera protection.

"I would say that 99% of our customers are brilliant, but the 1% we see at night-time is the one that is troublesome.

"You have got the antisocial behaviour that every taxi driver experiences, for example, people not wanting to pay their fare or somebody having a dispute over the route.You have got vandalism which is really bad in this job.

"If someone doesn't like what you said or doesn't like the fare or whatever you will get a boot in the side of the door and are a couple of hundred pounds down straight away."

Hussain said he had also encountered racial abuse, including one incident shortly after the murder of soldier Lee Rigby in which two men had threatened him as he was driving them to their destination.

He said: "I knew they were going to be trouble and one asked me what I thought of Lee Rigby. I told him I am not paid to discuss politics or anything like that, I'm just paid to take you home.

"The further I got away from the town, it was you black b***** and this and that.

"I couldn't find a police officer anywhere and in this job we can't retaliate, so you are a sitting target.

"I managed to get these guys back [home], taking all the abuse under the sun. But then they said they were going to take my registration number, follow me home and kill my wife and kids, saying 'so you know what it feels like'."

With the backing of his taxi operator Eddie Black, Hussain installed a CCTV system in his Hackney cab last year.

However, council officials eventually ordered that the camera had to be ripped out as it was not permitted.

But Hussain said the five months in which the cameras were in place were trouble-free and passengers seemed willing to accept the presence of a surveillance system.

He added: "Everybody who got in had a discussion about the cameras and said it was fantastic, they were happy as it protects passengers too.

"It is not just for us - some people may feel vulnerable late at night: excellent, they have got cameras.

"In the five months I had my [CCTV] system, I never had a squeak out of anyone."

Contextual targeting label: 
Block list

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

209881