7 News - "We need more secure ranks": Footage backs figures on out-of-control violence at Brisbane taxi ranks
Seven News has gained access to footage of violence in Brisbane, as new figures confirm assaults around taxi ranks in the city’s south-east are out of control.
Taxi Council Queensland has called for more secure ranks to make sure people make it home unharmed.
A video released to Seven News under Right to Information shows a fight between several men and taxi supervisors in January last year.
At a crowded cab rank in Fortitude Valley, it only takes seconds for violence to break out.
What starts as pushing and shoving quickly escalates.
Police are quick to respond but the attackers are not fazed by their presence.
“From what we've seen in terms of coward punches and the tragedies that have happened in recent times, we don't need less secure ranks we need more secure ranks operating more often,” chief executive of Taxi Council Queensland Benjamin Wash said.
There have been 309 assaults around taxi ranks in the Valley and city, over the past three months.
On average, there are about 10 assaults a week at cab ranks in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast.
Trauma surgeon Dr Richard Lewandowski said: “For every one person that gets killed certainly fifteen more have brain injuries and I would suggest that hundreds more don't even make it on to the radar”.
Night chaplains deal with the drunken behaviour first hand.
Night chaplains deal with the drunken behaviour first hand. Photo: 7 News
They do their best to get people home safely but when the night is over, there is a rush to the ranks.
“I think that there is coming a time where we need to just rethink their locations so they are more strategic,” night chaplain Lance Mergard said.
To help control crowds on the weekend, every taxi rank in the Valley is patrolled by security guards and supervisors.
Some, on Wickham Street for example, are even fitted with security cameras being watched by police.
The Taxi Council wants more ranks with more patrols in better locations to ease the violence.
“These things are happening on the street and they’re happening from the venue to the ranks,” said Mr Wash.
To help make the journey home safer, he said, ideally, “there should be a rank outside every major venue and outside where people gather to eat at the end of the night”.