Worcester Police Provide Safety Tips for Taxi & Fast Food Delivery Drivers
Monday, February 29, 2016
Police provide the following tips to fast food delivery drivers:
- Eliminate car toppers. 30% of robberies were crimes of opportunity. They were inspired and acted upon at the spur of the moment. These were made possible by advertisement on the car that made the driver‘s presence obvious to criminals.
- Do call-backs to verify the order. A call-back would have prevented another 30% of robberies. In addition, ask the caller for their address again and make sure they match up to the first address given. If not do not make the delivery.
- While still in your vehicle, scan the residence that you are delivering to. If there is anything that appears suspicious, leave the area and do a security callback or call the police. A dark house is suspicious. NEVER get out of your vehicle at a dark house. This is one of the most violated procedures resulting in a robbery there is. The house is dark but people are sitting on the porch. THIS DOES NOT MAKE THE HOUSE APPEAR TO BE NOT SUSPICIOUS! THIS SHOULD SEND A BIG RED FLAG UP IN YOUR MIND! Leave the area and do a security callback.
- Unless it‘s a known customer any new or more importantly, suspicious looking number there should be a call back done to insure an extra measure of driver safety.
- Look for signs of residence when you arrive at a location. About 25% of crimes took place at a vacant house or apartment. Out of those, 75% were vacant apartments.
- Do not carry more than $20 on you. Make regular cash drops at the store. Carrying too much money makes drivers more attractive to other criminals. Do not break a $50 or $100 unless the change was less than 20. Do not carry personal cash, credit cards, or an ATM card.
- If you are robbed the best thing is not to resist. Simply hand over the money or food and move on. We urge you to gather a good description of the criminals, looking for anything unique and identifiable.
Police provide the following tips for taxicab drivers:
1) Radio and the dispatcher
The most important piece of equipment in your taxi is your radio, as it connects you to your dispatcher. The dispatcher is "your lifeline".
2) Be alert and aware.
You must keep yourself very alert and aware of what is going on around you at all times, whether you are parked or driving. You must be very alert whenever you have passengers in the car with you. If you snooze....you lose!
3) Do not flash or display your money.
Do not wear any type of expensive watch, neck chains, or wrist bracelets. If you do, you are providing motivation for the person to rob you. If your passenger offers you a large denomination bill, advise him you will take him to get it changed at a nearby store. DO NOT show him that you have money to change it.
4) Size up your passenger - assess risk.
Most passengers will pose some level of risk to you. Read them - assess them, then act accordingly. You must remember this point:
Never underestimate anybody !
5) Greet-and maintain eye contact with the fare when picking up
It is essential that you make eye contact with each and every one of your passengers, try to do it as they are entering your vehicle. The reason is simple: To greet them as a customer and send a subtle message to them : "I see you - you see me - I can identify you.
6) Know the city.
One of the key causes of disputes and arguments is in not knowing your way around the city and taking your customers by the wrong route. This will get them angry, and disputes can quickly turn into assaults, or worse. It is very important that you study and remember all the routes and streets so that you minimize any negative action by the customer.
7) Trust your instincts.
Your gut instinct will be right 99% of the time. Listen to what your body is telling you!
8) Know emergency procedures
Each taxicab and limousine company has in place a set of emergency procedure rules, for use in different circumstances. These rules vary from company to company and you must make a sincere effort to learn them.
9) Always keep your windows rolled up.
Just open enough so that you can speak to people and get air, but they cannot get their hand through the window to grab your hair or body and yank you out of the car or bang your head against the glass to stun you.
10) Always keep you doors locked.
You don't want someone to come up beside you on foot without you noticing them and jerking open your door and attacking you. This also provides you the method to force the customer into the rear seats if you wish, or to ensure they sit on the right side of the rear seat, not behind you if at all possible. The idea is not to be taken by surprise.
11) Be extra careful late at night
The most dangerous hours for you to operate in are between 6:00 pm in the evening and 6:00 am in the morning. In particular, the darkest hours between 12:00 midnight and 04:00 am. Most assaults and robberies committed against taxi drivers occur during these late hours. At this time of the night, there a few people around as witnesses, and many of your customers will have been drinking, and liquor always causes trouble.
12) Be aware of passengers who give you "vague" instructions
It is of utmost importance that you insist on your customer giving you a "fixed destination" as to where they are going, before you start driving away.
13) Be careful of passenger seated behind you (Primary danger Zone)
Never let passengers sit directly behind you, if at all possible. This is your primary danger zone. 80% of all assaults and homicides are launched from the seat directly behind you, the driver.
14) Keep an eye on suspicious passengers
Depending on the risk level that you have assessed your customer at, you want to keep some type of watch over them while they are in your taxi.
15) Never tell customers you had a good shift
Never tell an inquiring customer that you have had a good day and made a lot of trips or money.
15) Carry a spare key
It is a good idea to have a spare key for the taxi you drive, get them made if need be.
16) Never, ever, drive into alleys or back lanes
Never do this if at all possible. Tell your customer that company policy states "no back lanes or alleys". Some persons want you to go there for one reason: to get you out of sight where they can assault or rob you.
17) Know your location at all times.
This is very important to be able to tell someone where you are in case you get into trouble.
18) Check all emergency equipment at the start of shift
Each day when you pick up your cab, the first thing you should do is a complete "circle check" of the vehicle.
19) Never take more than 4 passengers
This is a major safety factor for you. In most taxi areas , 4 persons are the maximum that you are allowed to carry, and in some areas, only 3. Y
20) Encourage the use of credit or debit cards
By encouraging the use of them you cut down on the amount of cash that you carry.
21) Do not be aggressive or argumentative.
This type of behavior will always cause you a lot of grief, and may help escalate a minor disagreement into a violent confrontation.
22) Keep calm - do not panic
It is most important that you stay as calm as possible.
23) DO NOT RESIST a robbery (co-operate)
Offer no resistance - just comply with the bad guy. If you resist you are going to escalate the situation perhaps crippled for life, or dead. Remember, what the robber wants is your money, maybe the car. Give it to him but do not resist.
24) Try to stall
Most bad guys are in a rush. They know that time is on your side, not theirs. They want to do the deed, and get out of there, so they will not be seen or caught by anybody.
25) Communicate with your dispatcher
When the robbery is finished, or you are able to, immediately call your dispatcher with the trouble code, your call sign, and your exact location.
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