Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman has called for a purple badge system to be introduced in Kirklees cabs to show passengers that drivers are fully vacci- nated against coronavirus and tested once a week. According to ExaminerLive, Mr Sheer- man said: “If Uber can do this I don’t see why my constituents should not have similar protection. “It would be better if the local authority got involved but I would be happy to see the hackney carriage association in Kirklees organise their own system. “There are different rules in different parts of the country but I think it is time

we got something sorted out on this one. “I got into an Uber and he had wiped down the seats, had a certificate show- ing that he was vaccinated and wanted me to wear a mask which I did of course. I think responsible cab drivers would welcome such a system and it is

high time it was brought in.” Akooji Badat, secretary of Huddersfield Hackney Carriage Association, said: “The public needs protection and so do we from the public. The cab area is very enclosed and most cabs in this area don’t have the protection of hardened glass separating the driver from their fares. I am tested every week at Batley Library and for Huddersfield and Mir- field drivers it’s the Hudawi Centre in Huddersfield. I don’t think taxi drivers would object to such a scheme being imposed when it would help provide greater protection for all concerned but we will have to see.”


A Scottish taxi driver who was forced to rob a bank at gunpoint has hit out at a compensation scheme for crime victims. According to EdinburghLive, Alistair Rankin, 52, who was awarded £6,100 in criminal injuries, claims the payout did- n’t reflect the trauma he still suffers six years after the ordeal. Alistair said: “My life has never been the same. I take a cocktail of 14 pills before I leave the house and sleeping tablets before I go to bed. It’s been a nightmare and has put a strain on my family life. “I’m still in therapy and don’t know when I will be able to put it all behind me. I’m still very angry with what happened. “The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority offered me £1,000 before I appealed it. They then came back with an offer of £6,100 after five years, which I accepted. “I’d had enough of fighting it so settled but I don’t think it was enough. I know someone who got £10,000 for being bitten on their shoulder while at work. “That’s obviously distressing but small compared to what happened to me.


The system just seems so unfair.” In November 2015, Alistair, of Cowdenbeath, was hired to pick up Andrew Patrick at an industrial estate in Lochgelly.

Pat-rick – who faked an Eastern Euro- pean accent and hid his face using a cap, glasses and scarf – ordered Alistair to drive to Bank of Scotland in Kirk- caldy at gunpoint. When they arrived, he was given two bags and told one contained a bomb. He was told to take them into the branch and hand over a note while he was “watched”. The note told bank staff to fill the bag with cash or the bomb would detonate within a minute. Workers quickly handed Alistair £10,000 but Patrick had fled by the time he returned to his vehicle. Police took Alistair to a deserted golf course to detonate the bomb before

realising it was fake. The robbery sparked a three-week manhunt involving armed police, air support and dog units before gym instructor Patrick was arrested. He was sentenced to six years and nine months at the High Court in Glasgow and was released in 2019. Victims of crime in the UK can make a claim via CICA for what they suffered. The body has the power to award up to £500,000 but most victims get just a fraction of that. Calculations are based on a tariff system and injuries sustained. In 2019 former victims’ commissioner Baroness Newlove said CICA was “re- traumatising” claimants and seemed “calculated to frustrate and alienate” those it should be helping. Alistair added: “Patrick is out and his life has gone on. He probably never even thinks about it. He’s no real under- standing of what he caused. “Victims of crime are ignored by the system. I thought that at the time of his sentencing and I think it having gone through the compensation scheme.”

MAY 2021

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