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Great Yarmouth taxi firm suspends two drivers over claims they mocked passenger

PUBLISHED: 13:08 18 July 2017 | UPDATED: 13:43 18 July 2017

Albies Taxis has suspended two drivers. Picture: Archant

Albies Taxis has suspended two drivers. Picture: Archant

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2010

A taxi firm has suspended two drivers over allegations that a passenger with a severe mental health condition was mocked.

Albies Taxis, based in Great Yarmouth and which has more than 200 staff, has acted after one of its drivers uploaded a video to his Facebook page which can no longer be seen.

The Facebook video relates to a 59-year-old man who has severe paranoid schizophrenia, with his relatives saying the drivers had taken advantage of him.

The company has also apologised to the family of the man via a statement.

As well as the taxi firm’s actions, Great Yarmouth Borough Council, which licences taxis, and Norfolk police have launched investigations.

Andy Kitchen, boss at Albies Taxis, said: “There was an incident involving one of our drivers uploading a video via his mobile phone onto their personal Facebook profile which has resulted in serious allegations being made against Albies Taxis.

“Naturally, we take any complaint against our staff very seriously and the drivers in question have been immediately suspended, pending an internal investigation.

“The police are involved and we are working very closely with them, the relevant local authorities and the taxi licensing authority.

“Albies would like to apologise to the family for the distress this incident has caused.

“We would like to take this opportunity to reassure our customers that they can continue to rely on the service they have come to expect.”

Issues around the conduct of taxi driver were reported to police on June 29.

Insp Craig Miller said: “We are in the early stages of our investigation and are establishing the full facts surrounding the incidents before acting.

“In addition, we are providing ongoing support to the victim in partnership with our colleagues from the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub.

“I would like to reassure the victim, his family and members of the public we will investigate these allegations fully and will deal with any offences identified robustly.”

A council spokesman said: “At this early stage, the council is actively investigating the allegations to determine any action necessary. It would be inappropriate to comment further.”

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