A TAXI firm has launched a smartphone app which it hopes will help keep Sunderland passengers safe from rogue cabbies.
Southwick-based Station Taxis launched the app, which is available for both iOS and Android phones, in the wake of a Northumbria Police operation.
Operation Sanctuary, which has so far led to 120 arrests and 21 charges, is investigating allegations of sexual offences against vulnerable females.
The firm’s bosses were concerned to learn that some victims have been transported in taxis to addresses where they have been sexually assaulted or raped, while others had been picked up by rogue cab drivers.
The Station Taxis app uses GPS technology which allows customers to book a taxi using their current location and track their vehicle without having to make any phone calls or wait in queues.
The service also provides the name of the driver and the registration number, model and colour of the vehicle – to ensure passengers do not get into the wrong car by mistake.
Managing director Trevor Hines said: “The new app makes booking a taxi a lot easier, and ensures that you know who is picking you up. Being able to track your vehicle lets you know exactly where it is, and how long it will take to arrive.
“We will continue to support the police and the taxi licence department in their efforts to make travelling by taxi safer in Sunderland and the surrounding area.”
The Station Taxis app is free to download for iPhones from the Apple Store or for Android phones from Google Play.