Halifax police add two more cases to list of sexual assaults inside taxis
THE CANADIAN PRESS
Published Thursday, July 28, 2016 4:11PM ADT
HALIFAX -- Police in Halifax have released updated information about a string of alleged sexual assaults by cab drivers, adding two incidents to the list.
Earlier this week, police said 12 remarkably similar cases of sexual assaults involving taxi drivers had occurred over the past four years.
But in a news release Thursday, investigators say they have determined there are two additional incidents to add to the list -- one in 2012 and another in 2015 -- bringing the total number to 14.
Police say charges have been laid in five cases, five were closed due to lack of solvability, another was closed at the request of the victim, and the remaining three are currently under investigation.
In each case, police say the suspects were described as men, in most cases with dark hair and between the ages 30 and 50, and they commonly spoke with an accent.
They say in 11 of the 14 cases, the women involved were between the ages of 19 and 25, most were travelling in the front seat and the alleged attacks happened when there was only one passenger in the car.
In a majority of the cases, the alleged sexual assaults involved touching in sexual manner and forcible kissing, police said.
In many cases, the accused said he didn't want to be paid and attempted to flatter the women, who were typically picked up at night in the downtown core during the spring and summer months.
Police have also issued a series of safety tips:
- Call a taxi instead of hailing one to ensure there is a record of your request.
- Make a note or take a photo of the taxi company name and roof light number.
- Make sure the cab has a prominently displayed licence, driver photo and meter.
- Sit in the back seat on the passenger side, the farthest position from the driver and curb-side in the event you need to exit quickly.
- Have your cellphone handy and call 911 if you feel uncomfortable with what is going on.
Police say there were three cases involving alleged sexual assaults in taxis in 2012, one in 2013, one in 2014, four in 2015, and five to date in 2016.