Monday, 3 April 2023, 09:38
Malaga taxi drivers say they feel unprotected at the airport in the face of threats and continuous altercations with 'pirates', as they call individuals who are known to act as illegal taxi drivers because they lack the proper authorisation to carry passengers. The taxi sector has been complaining about these practices for some time and demanding more police presence, such as when last summer they staged a strike in protest at an attack.
And now they are raising their voices again, coinciding with the trial last week of the alleged perpetrator of an attack on a colleague last December. According to the charge, the defendant threatened and assaulted a taxi driver, who also broke his mobile phone, when he warned some tourists that the service the man was offering them was illegal.
“We feel harassed, threatened and unprotected. We need more security”, said the president of the unified association of self-employed taxi drivers (Aumat), Miguel Ángel Martín, who directed his complaint to airport operator Aena and the National Police force. To the company that manages the airport, "because the illegal drivers are in the terminal and continue to use their car parks. f they controlled them in some way, part of the problem could be solved." And to the National Police, "because they are in charge of guaranteeing public safety and just by asking for their documentation and identifying them they would scare them away."
As a result, the taxi sector is going to request a meeting with heads of the National Police forces similar to the one they held a few months ago with the City Council and which, according to Martín, has served to improve the situation based on complaints and removal of unlicensed vehicles. "We are aware that the Local Police is tightening patrols and that helps deter 'pirates', but as soon as they leave to carry out some duties they appear again, and more aggressive because they have less time to attract passengers”, said the leader of Aumat.
Elite Taxi Malaga also agreed, saying that surveillance at the airport "is insufficient". "We demand that the police become more involved in surveillance, not only through the presence of police vehicles, but also that they physically perform in-person checks at the departure area and inside the arrivals hall of the airport," they said.
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