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Police and transport bosses have started their annual campaign reminding partygoers of the perils of taking illegal minicabs over Christmas.

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The campaign, which will appear in cinemas, print and online. will also highlight the launch of the new Cabwise mobile phone app, which provide people with the chance to book a licensed cab home.

Cab related sex assaults have dropped by more than a quarter in the last two years, Transport for London said.

Officers will again patrol the capital’s most popular nightspots throughout the festive period and posters will be put up.

Steve Burton, TfL’s director of community safety, enforcement and policing, said: “Many people who travel in the capital still think that picking up a minicab displaying a TfL licence in the window is legal - but it’s not.

“Only black cabs can be picked up off the streets, all minicabs need to be pre-booked through a licensed operator and any minicab that picks someone up off the street is acting illegally.

Chief Superintendent Sultan Taylor, of Safer Transport Command, said: “After a night out it can be tempting to jump into the first minicab you see, but by doing this, you could be putting yourself at risk.

“All minicabs must be booked in advance, even if they are displaying a TfL licence.”

For more information, visit www.tfl.gov.uk/cabwise

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