A local taxi company has boycotted some areas of Broome at night following a rock attack in which a passenger narrowly escaped serious injury.
Chinatown Taxis operators said taxi drivers would no longer make pick-ups after sunset in areas such as Anne Street and parts of Reid Road because of ongoing rock throwing incidents.
Long-term Broome resident Lynne Rolston said she had a lucky escape after the taxi she was travelling in was struck with a rock.
Ms Rolston was one of three passengers heading towards Demco estate around 11.30pm on December 15 via Reid Road when the taxi was targeted by a group near the service station.
“What struck us was we all said why are those kids out wandering at this time of the night…and then crash,” she said.
Ms Rolston said it was fortunate Chinatown Taxis had installed shatterproof windows in their vehicles, as the incident could have been fatal.
“Sooner or later someone will be killed or injured,” she said.
Chinatown Taxis operators Ray and Ros Crabb said the incident was one of several in the lead-up to and during the Christmas period, including four broken windows in the past week.
The embattled operators have since boycotted services in some areas to avoid further attacks.
Customers living near hotspot areas such as Anne Street, Reid Road, Woods Drive and suburbs near Six Seasons will be taken the long way home to avoid certain areas, the operators said, which would result in a higher fare.
Ms Rolston said local customers would support the firm’s decision to take passengers the long way home but said rock throwing would continue to plague drivers at night until the problem was appropriately addressed.
Mrs Crabb said she was frustrated that no offenders had been prosecuted over the years.
“In six years, we have not had one arrest of one offender, and we’ve not seen one cent of restitution,” she said.
Broome Police said all reports of rock throwing incidents were treated seriously and police attended when reports were received.
All reports of damage reported were allocated an Incident Report number and the offences investigated with all evidence to hand.
Due to the nature of offending relating to damage caused by rock throwing, it was extremely difficult to apprehend offenders for this type of offence, a police spokesman said.
Mrs Crabb said another problem facing staff was racism towards the firm’s foreign drivers.
She called on locals and visitors to the town to be respectful to taxi drivers who provided a vital service.
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