Violence is a common experience for taxi drivers, although most incidents involve only shouting, swearing and threats. While physical attacks are less frequent, a minimum of one homicide a year occurs in Australia. This paper discusses the patterns of violence and identifies risk factors. A subsequent Trends and Issues paper (number 179) focuses on prevention strategies.
Taxi drivers are “popular” targets because they work alone, are unprotected, accept passengers whose attitudes to violence are unknown—and they carry cash. Media publicity about assaults may, unfortunately, increase the probability of future attacks.
This project was funded by the Crime Prevention Branch of the Criminal Justice Division, Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department.