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'Jersey Lifts' Warning

The States of Jersey Police are issuing a stark safety warning to those who continue to use Jersey Lifts – if you knew a bit more about the potential risks, you may think twice.

In recent weeks officers have found a number of alarming incidents involving people offering or accepting lifts.

These include

  • At least two people offering lifts are currently shown as being disqualified from driving.
  • One person offering lifts has been detained for mental health assessment on a number of occasions in the past six months.
  • Another male is known to befriend young vulnerable females.
  • A concerning number of young females aged 17 or 18 are offering up lifts to strangers.
  • Subsequent messaging has been found to show attempts to go out socially beyond having given the lift.

In the past two years officers have stopped numerous cars believed to have been operating under the Jersey Lifts banner, however incredibly difficult to secure the required evidence to prove offences. Officers have also issued public safety warnings, educational messages about the illegality of the service and sent letters to those known to have frequented the site to warn them to stop. It is concerning that despite such measures, the practice is still continuing.

Police Inspector Mark Coxshall said:” It is somewhat disappointing that previous advice given has not been heeded by all. As a result, we will be speaking to those who are offering illegal taxi services over the next few weeks. If sufficient evidence of offences can be found then prosecutions can not be ruled out.”

“This is not simply friends offering lifts for petrol money. These are strangers either offering up lifts for a fare or accepting lifts with strangers. Our current work has found a number of alarming pieces of information which should hopefully raise alarm bells that accepting or offering lifts is not safe.”

Inspector Coxshall is calling on those who offer, drive or accept lifts to change their mind-sets. He said: “I suspect that in some cases, parent’s vehicles are being used without knowledge and we have previously been advised by insurance professionals that if found to be operating as an illegal taxi then they would not be covered for insurance purposes.

“We also cannot rule out predatory behaviour in order to target young
vulnerable girls and this is a real concern.”

The police will continue to monitor the site in addition to proactively speaking to those suspected of breaking the law.

Inspector Coxshall said, “Attitudes need to change. This is not about the police attempting stop friends from contributing to petrol and sharing lifts. This site is much more sophisticated, but the clear danger of what is taking place appears not to be fully appreciated. We would much prefer to see the providers and users of such services recognise the associated risks and stop this activity before someone gets seriously harmed”

 

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