Cab company offers white drivers on request, as officials fear a return to the racial tensions of the 1960s

(Picture: Google)
Car 2000 say they don’t promote the service but will provide a white driver if asked (Picture: Google)

A minicab company in Rochdale is now offering to send white drivers on request following a grooming scandal involving Asian gangs in what to some has been seen as a worrying step backwards to the racial tensions of the fifties and sixties.

Rochdale has been at the centre of one of the biggest grooming scandals in British history following revelations of gang rapes and the trafficking of white girls at the hands of Pakistani and Afghan crime syndicates.

And firm Car 2000 have said they began receiving special requests for Caucasian drivers in the wake of the 2012 scandal, with the rise of terror group Isis also contributing to a hike in demand and illustrating – if not exacerbating – a split in the community not seen in several decades.

‘We don’t promote anything like this, but if you ring up and say “can I have a white driver?” we will provide one. We are offering a service,’ said manager Stephen Campbell.

‘Initially, back in 2012, the number of people asking for white drivers went up, then it went back down. It has gone up again a bit since this coverage of IS. I think people are being programmed by what they watch on the news.

Tensions following the 2012 grooming scandal and the rise of Isis have contributed to the increase in 'white driver' requests (Picture: Getty Images)
Tensions following the 2012 grooming scandal and the rise of Isis have contributed to the increase in ‘white driver’ requests (Picture: Getty Images)

‘They ask for “local” drivers and by that they mean white. The ridiculous thing is all my drivers are local – they were all born here.’

Mr Campbell said he ‘would like to be told it is illegal’ but that until it is, he is forced to respond to customer wishes to remain competitive in the market.

‘All taxi drivers get abuse, but Asian drivers put up with more abuse than anyone else,’ he added.

Nine men were jailed for a total 77 years in May 2012 for plying young girls with drink and drugs so they could be ‘passed around’ for sex, but a case review exposed a series of failures by social workers and police who were later accused of adopting a ‘colour blind’ approach to their investigation that was ‘potentially dangerous’.

Two drivers from Eagle Taxis – later taken over by Car 2000 – were at the heart of the scandal, though Mr Campbell said the first he knew of the former employees’ involvement was in the trial.

However, racial tensions in Rochdale had been building for some time, with the Home Office warning that race riots could be a possibility in 2010 – two years before the grooming scandal.


MP for Rochdale Simon Danczuk has said there is ‘a lot of work’ to do to rebuild trust in the community, adding that the ‘white driver’ requests were indicative of growing tensions in community.

Mark Widdum of Rochdale Borough council said they would be taking legal advice as to whether the ‘white driver’ policy contravenes the ‘fit and proper’ test private-hire businesses are required to pass.