A city taxi firm has stressed that customer safety is its "number one priority" after one of its drivers was charged with sexual assault.

Alexandru Tapurin, 35, of Tizzick Close in Norwich, has been charged with three counts of sexual assault at a number of locations across Norwich last weekend.

He was also charged with false imprisonment and causing a woman aged 16 or over to engage in a non-penetrative sexual activity between January 20 and 21.

Tapurin was a driver-partner with ABC Taxis, which has operated in the city since 1994.

The taxi company, which was taken over by Welsh digital hire firm Veezu in November 2022, issued a statement saying: "Safety remains the number one priority.

Norwich Evening News: ABC Taxis are located in Paddock Street, NR2ABC Taxis are located in Paddock Street, NR2 (Image: Newsquest)

"The company can confirm that it acted swiftly when it became aware of these allegations.

"The self-employed driver-partner, who has the freedom to take bookings from multiple ride-booking platforms available in Norwich, was removed from the booking system and reported to the local authority.

"Every ride on the system is tracked door-to-door so once a booking is made, passengers can see the details of the driver-partner and the vehicle registration.

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"All driver-partners undergo an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, underscoring the paramount importance placed on the safety of passengers.

"Due to the current legal proceedings, the company is unable to provide any additional comments at this time.

"However it is actively cooperating with the ongoing police investigation concerning a driver-partner."

Norwich Evening News: ABX Taxis said that safety remains the number one priority for its customersABX Taxis said that safety remains the number one priority for its customers (Image: ABC Taxis)

Under statutory guidance from the Department for Transport, all taxi and private hire drivers are required to have an enhanced DBS check in place for their application which includes:

  • A check against the Police National Computer for any cautions, warnings, reprimands, or convictions (spent or unspent)

  • A check against the DBS’s Children’s or Adult’s Barred Lists

  • A check for any relevant police notes on the applicant

Norfolk Police said Tapurin was arrested on Sunday morning and taken to Wymondham police station for questioning.

He was subsequently charged and appeared at Norwich Magistrates Court on Tuesday, being kept in custody ahead of his next court appearance on February 20 at Norwich Crown Court.

Norwich Evening News: Alexandru Tapurin, 35, of Tizzick Close in Norwich, has been charged with three counts of sexual assault at a number of locations across NorwichAlexandru Tapurin, 35, of Tizzick Close in Norwich, has been charged with three counts of sexual assault at a number of locations across Norwich (Image: PA Media)