INVESTIGATIONS are under way following reports a taxi driver attacked passengers in Bournemouth.

A young woman who caught a taxi from outside the train station on the evening of Wednesday, October 11, was reportedly dragged from the car and attacked before money was taken from her. Her friend posted about the incident on Facebook to warn others about the driver, including pictures of the independent hackney carriage's licence plate number.

“She has contacted the police several times to try and make a statement, but three nights in a row they have failed to turn up. I cannot see how this is not a priority? Thankfully she got away with severe bruising and not any worse, but the next girl might not be so lucky," the friend wrote on Saturday.

Over 100 people commented on the post, with some reporting similar incidents from the alleged same taxi.

One woman said her friend had been attacked on Saturday after getting into a taxi in Holdenhurst Road. The incident was also said to involve the victim being pushed to the ground and money taken from her.

Another person said she and her friends got into the taxi on Saturday night and were verbally abused and threatened by the driver.

A spokesperson for Dorset Police said they had received a report of the incident on Wednesday night at around 8.30pm.

“We are investigating reports of verbal and physical assault by a taxi driver near St Catherine’s Road, Bournemouth. No arrests have been made.”

Nananka Randle, licensing manager at Bournemouth council, said: “We have received information about these incidents from third parties, however to investigate the matter fully, we’d encourage the people involved in these incidents to come forward to provide evidence. Anyone with information can contact”

Councillor Andrew Morgan, chair of the licensing board, is also urging victims to step forward.

“We take very firm action when there are any allegations of misconduct. As soon as we get a report from the victims, we can deal with it very quickly. It is disappointing that the police did not report these incidents to the council sooner.”

Cllr Morgan said up to four incidents involving taxi drivers were reported to the council each year.

He added: “Even one is unacceptable, and we take very, very firm action. A lot of these incidents don’t make it to the press as it’s not a case of calling a meeting. We have taken action when the police have told us someone has been arrested.”

Kevin Holmes, chairman of the Bournemouth Taxi Trade Association, said: "I'm aware of these incidents, and anything that brings our trade into disrepute is horrible.

"This is a public safety matter, and the licensing officer and the police need to interview the driver and take a statement and see if further action is warranted."