DISTRESSED taxi drivers say they are considering boycotting what they say are“high crime” areas of Newport.

They say they have had rocks thrown at cars in Alway, Beechwood and Ringland, and have endured abuse online, including threats of petrol bombings.

Gwent Police said they have arrested a number of teens in connection with one incident, and said measures had been put in place to assist.

But David Bryant, who is a taxi driver for Dragon Taxis, said problems are “happening all the time”.

“People are still doing damage,” said Mr Bryant.

“They don’t care what’s thrown just as long as they damage the car.”

The 59-year-old, who lives on Commercial Road, said he hoped to see greater police patrols.

Otherwise, he added, some “won’t drive to certain areas”.

Ryan Milton, 27, who is a manager for Roman Taxis, said that lots of drivers are refusing to go to some Newport areas.

“This is an epidemic problem and it needs solving.

“Problems start as soon as it becomes dark.

“To be honest I don’t really want to take a chance going to Alway, Beechwood or Ringland because of the damage that would be caused.”

Khalid Imran, another taxi driver, said attacks against his taxi had happened “loads of times”.

“Not long ago I had my window mirror smashed,” said Mr Imran.

“Because it’s dark you hear the rocks hit the car before seeing it.

“I want to see more police because I won’t go to those areas.”

Lionel Morris, who is an independent taxi driver, added: “I got things chucked at my taxi and had racial abuse. It was awful.”

Gwent Police, referring to the incident, said a 15-year-old had been arrested and released, while one 14-year-old had been arrested and bailed pending further enquiries, with another arrested and referred to the youth offending service.

Mr Morris previously told the Argus he felt “lucky to be alive” when a rock smashed through his window while he was behind the wheel.

Such issues were brought up at a meeting between around 70 members of the recently formed Newport Private Hire Drivers Association (NPHDA) in January.

It was said then to be a “massive” problem, and one that is unique to Newport.

“I’ve got friends who work in other towns in the area and they have never experienced anything it, it just seems to be happening in Newport,” said Anhar Miar, who worked for ABC, at the time.

A spokeswoman for Gwent Police said this week measures put into place to stop such behaviour included CCTV cameras.

She also said that the Newport East inspector, Sarah Davies, held a meeting with officers and taxi firms to ensure “a partnership approach to the issue” and ways to combat the problems.