Three women have been sexually assaulted by a Manchester city centre taxi driver in the early hours of the morning – police are warning people to take extra care and stick together on nights out.
The first victim, 28, was attacked after she got into what she thought was a taxi after a night out with friends at around 5:15am on Thursday July 16.
She got into the silver vehicle in Piccadilly Gardens near to the bus station and told him where she wanted to go but he stopped the car near Wilmslow Road, Fallowfield, and sexually assaulted her.
The second incident occurred when an 18-year-old woman got into the taxi near 42nd Street nightclub on Bootle Street at around 3am on Saturday July 18.
She was driven to the Prestwich area where she was sexually assaulted.
The third attack was on a 23-year-old woman who got into the car, possibly a silver Mercedes or similar, on Peter Street in the city centre at around 2.45am on Sunday July 19.
The driver took her towards the Whitefield area before he stopped the car on Phillips Park Road West and sexually assaulted her.
Detective Sergeant Mark Astbury said: “We are working to establish whether all three incidents are connected or not but clearly this is a worrying set of circumstances.
“In all three incidents, the victims have been led to believe they are getting into a genuine taxi before they have been sexually assaulted.
“I would ask anyone who may have been approached or been a victim to call us as soon as possible.
The man is described as being Asian, in his 30s, possibly wearing glasses and had short dark hair.
Police are urging everyone to make sure they are getting into licensed taxis and to stick together but have suggested, if you are alone, that you use an official taxi rank.
DS Astbury said: “Please ensure you use licensed taxi companies by either pre-booking or going to a designated taxi rank.
“Stay together on a night out, and never get into an unknown car without checking it is a licensed taxi first. If you are unsure, go to a taxi rank, particularly if you are on your own.”
Anyone with information should phone city centre police on 0161 856 3221 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
Image courtesy of Daniel Farrell, with thanks.