A CAMPAIGN has started to enlist taxi drivers in the fight against crime.
The Crimestoppers organisation wants Huddersfield taxi drivers to call its hotline and give information they have about crimes that they often hear about or see while picking up fares.
Crimestoppers believes that many taxi drivers do not give such information to the police for fear of reprisals.
But it hopes that being able to give information anonymously over the phone will encourage them to come forward.
Crimestoppers is sending out 50,000 cards in English and Urdu to taxi offices and ranks across Yorkshire advertising the campaign.
Chris Goss, chairman of Yorkshire and Humber Crimestoppers, said police efforts to get unlicensed and unroadworthy vehicles - often used for crime - off the roads has meant an increase in criminals using taxis.
This means taxi drivers unwittingly take people from a crime scene - or move their stolen goods - and only find out when the crime becomes public.
Mr Goss said: "Taxi drivers provide a tremendous service to the public, working mainly in isolation and at times in other than the best of circumstances.
"We want to help them by dissuading the criminal element from embroiling them unwittingly into becoming involved with offenders.
"Our promise is that everybody who calls Crimestoppers will remain anonymous."
Jamil Mukhtar, chairman of the Kirklees Hackney Carriage Association, said taxi drivers would support the scheme.
He said: "In the past, drivers have been phoning the police about illegal activities.
"But sometimes, if the police are busy, the driver has to wait at the scene and it's not good.
"So phoning Crimestoppers is a good idea. They can pass on the information and feel they have done their bit.
"Drivers are willing to help police crack down on crime."
The number taxi drivers can call is 0800 555 111.
There can be rewards of up to £1,000 for information that leads to someone being arrested and charged or property or drugs recovered.