Telford Grooming Gangs: A Taxi Drivers Story

I grew up in Hadley, Telford and me and my mates used to see it for myself. We tried to warn the girls but we were just called racist. Any one will tell you I’m the furthest possible from from racist. Some of the Asian lads my age were warning them too but the Mercs and BMWs, drugs and booze was too tempting for them.  We had no idea at that time what grooming even was.

When I was at school (Orleton Park in Wellington) in the mid 90s, girls 14/15 years old would regularly be picked up at lunch time in cars and taken off for an hour. Yes they were usually Asians in the cars but not always.

Tanveer Ahmed
So I drove taxis 2005-2010 and for the first 3 years I did only nights.  At the first company I worked for, I was close friends with the guy who shared a taxi for a short while with a man called Tanveer Ahmed.

Now 99% of the drivers I knew were totally sound. Good, honest people trying to earn a living, but there was an element who seemed to be only in the job to try and have sex with as many young girls as possible. I must point out that this element contains drivers of various races.  I kept myself to myself on the job because I was only interested in trying to earn a living, but outside the office or at the taxi ranks, sometimes i’d get other cars pull alongside and have to talk to them.

At the time I thought Tanveer was a slimy character. He was sacked from there a little while after when he went AWOL with a licensed taxi for 3 weeks and was caught by other drivers using it to pick up girls from Pussycats. His radio and data had been deactivated so he was doing what we called “flyers” (unbooked jobs). Who knows what else he was up to using that taxi.

Tanveer Ahmed was later to be convicted of controlling a child prostitute.  I felt sick when I saw Ahmed in the news, knowing I’d worked with him and wondering what may have gone on in my mates cab.

Off the grid
It was when I moved to a company that was based in Wellington that things got interesting. I lost count of the amount of young girls that were taken back to some Portakabins that aren’t there any more. One driver bragged to a couple of us that they could get “bitches” and there were several taxis operating “off the grid” around the town at that time.

Taxis running “off the grid” were plated up with official signs, but not logged in to the taxi company booking systems. They were touting for business. Funnily enough it only ever seemed to be young girls who they were picking up. I genuinely can’t say if the taxi company owners knew what was going on, but some of the operators did and they weren’t happy about it.

I discovered by accident where they took the girls because I saw them a couple of times.  Just outside Wrockwardine village on the little road that brings you out just by the old Esso garage on the old A5.  There’s a lay-by and I saw taxis there a few times late at night. One day when i went on day shifts I pulled up at the lay-by waiting for a job. I looked out of car window there were loads of used condoms in the hedge and on the ground.  Also down the back of Hortonwood Industrial Estate was another place I’d see the cars parked late.

Up by The Wrekin too, round by old forest glen car park. That’s also where they take people to beat them up for whatever reason.

I swiftly got out of that company and switched to day shifts. I got fed up of seeing all the stuff going on. I felt like Travis Bickle from the Taxi Driver film working nights in what appears to most people be a quiet town.

Complaints
There was a white, English driver from Madeley. I heard he was caught messing around with a teenager and he lost his badge. There was also another (white) driver who has had numerous complaints made against him but always managed to get away with it. Not sure if he’s still badged and working today, but he certainly was a couple of years ago.

Both of them constantly talked about sex and girls whenever you met them.  It got to the point where I actively avoided them. If they came to park by me, I’d pretend I had a job on my screen and drive away.

I did mention this to the management, but  I got the impression that they didn’t act on it, as long as they were getting their radio rent.  The attitude seemed to be that the drivers are self employed, they only pay us to get work so what they do in their cars is their business

I do know that one or two of what I would call seedy drivers are still on the road around here and I personally wouldn’t send my teenage daughter alone in a taxi without first seeing who was driving it.

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5 thoughts on “Telford Grooming Gangs: A Taxi Drivers Story

  • September 6, 2016 at 6:50 pm
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    Heartbreaking and it seems nothing is being done to stop this appalling crime

    Reply
  • October 31, 2016 at 7:31 pm
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    This story is true and is still true today, taxi bosses are all ex drivers and know the score. It is about time that all council licensed taxis and PH cars are required to be parked up if not working, anybody who owns a private hire car in Telford can legally drive it when not actually working, these vehicles are not readily noticeable day or night and can be used for many illegal activities. Taxi bosses are not interested, as a driver i notified bosses to illegal activity and been told “they pay there rent” and that is there only concern, the council test for drivers including previous criminal convictions merely pays lip service to eagerly collect driver badge fees and allay public fear. I have met many drivers over the years who claim that if a female sits in the front seat they are 90% eager, private hire use in Telford is fraught with danger, my advice to females travelling alone is to always sit behind the driver. All the council and bosses are interested in is cash, please be aware!!! Never report a driver to the company, although they may listen, no action will be taken, just a tip off to the driver to be more careful, ALWAYS report to the council or police. 25yrs a driver and viewer of a sick trade.

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  • October 31, 2016 at 9:16 pm
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    They should be scrapped and new firms brought in and all drivers vetted and CRB checked with the same rating on trip advisor as everyone else to monitor good and bad taxi drivers! I dont like any of them and cannot give any a good word given those we have dealt with, awful! We have to call them for elderly customers and they rip them off, dont bother to turn up or phone back if they cant find them (because there in the doorway sheltering from rain) and when you say, then swear at you …just because they can! I feel sorry for the man telling the story but in the main I would never use nor let my family use any of them……Telford Council need to pull their licences and get decent firms in that do care and have a better reputation…it lets Telford down otherwise!

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    • November 5, 2016 at 6:45 pm
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      Seriously? Every taxi driver you’ve had has been awful? Some, I agree are not good but many are polite,helpful and cheerful By tarring them all with the same brush seems a bit disrespectful to me
      The police need to be the ones doing their job,stop taxis for illegal parking,speeding and roadworthiness. Only then will you weed out the rotten apples

      Reply
  • November 4, 2016 at 12:26 pm
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    Taxi drivers should have designated areas to park up whilst waiting for a fair, if at anytime there out these areas then they should be fined and there licence suspended for a period of time. Twc licensing department need to clamp down on these drivers as does the company’s . I think that all taxis should be like black cabs and drivers shouldn’t be able to use their own vehicles, how do we know there legally road worthy. More checks need to be done on these drivers and they need to be vetted more.

    Reply

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