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Truro's taxi turf wars break out with violence and intimidating threats

By WBMiles  |  Posted: December 11, 2013

Taxi driver Malcolm Polkinghorne, known as John, said he had been threatened while working in Truro.

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Taxi turf wars have broken out in Truro with violence and intimidating threats.

A driver who normally works in Perranporth has reportedly had his tyres slashed after working in the city.

Drivers with a Carrick licence are officially allowed to work anywhere in the area, including on the ranks in Truro.

Perranporth-based taxi driver Malcolm Polkinghorne, known as John, said he had been threatened while working in Truro.

Mr Polkinghorne said a colleague from Perranporth had a total of four tyres slashed on two cars in the early hours of November 23.

The following night Mr Polkinghorne was waiting on the taxi rank in Calenick Street.

He said: “As I’m parked up by L2 a chap just walked up to me and said if I didn’t want the same thing to happen to me I had better get out of Truro.

“They are trying to frighten any outsiders off. It feels like taxi wars.”

Mr Polkinghorne, 57, said he refused to be intimidated and would continue working in the city.

“That plate entitles me to work anywhere in the Carrick zone,” he said. “On a Saturday night I’ve got no choice - I’ve got bills to pay.”

The West Briton spoke with the driver whose tyres were slashed. He said he had not reported the matter to the police and did not want to be named. He put the incident down to local vandalism.

Tony Staffieri from Droskyn Taxis in Perranporth said he had lent a jack to the victim of the attack to put on new tyres.

“They had to have four new tyres put on because they were stabbed in the side,” he said.

Mr Staffieri said he had previously been confronted while working in Truro by a driver who asked him if he thought it was fair people from other towns could come in to work in the city.

“I know they don’t like us going in there but the council made the rules and we are allowed to,” he said.

The owner of Truro’s biggest taxi firm, A2B, said he was not aware of any incidents or confrontations between drivers in Truro.

He said: “It doesn’t bother me one bit if people from outside come in and work in Truro. We are more phone-based and not as dependent on the ranks. The only people it would affect would be the one-man bands.”

Cornwall Council said they had received reports of alleged incidents and had advised the taxi drivers to report the incidents to the police.

A spokesman confirmed any driver with a legitimate Carrick zone hackney licence plate was entitled to operate anywhere within the Carrick zone.

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