POLICE are using CCTV-equipped decoy cars, undercover officers and extra patrols to tackle a spate of stone throwing at taxis.

Earlier this month cab and private hire drivers blockaded Accrington Road in Blackburn in protest at the growing number of incidents of yobs chucking projectiles at their vehicles.

One cabbie Altaf ‘Tiger’ Patel warned someone could be seriously injured or killed after his taxi was twice targeted.

Another was left unable to work because his cab was so badly damaged by one of the attacks which are concentrated around Intack, Mill Hill and Highercroft, Blackburn.

Last week the town’s police boss Inspector Martyn Holt outlined the action he was taking to combat the threat. at a summit with drivers, taxi firm bosses, and Blackburn with Darwen Council officials.

He revealed a 14-year-old had been questioned about the incidents and further inquiries are ongoing.

A special communication group is being set up between police and drivers to share information.

Inspector Holt said police patrols have been stepped up, officers were carrying out undercover operations to identity perpetrators and visiting schools to warn pupils of the dangers and appeal for information.

He said: “We believe it is young people causing mischief and needs to stop before somebody is seriously harmed.

“This is a priority for us and we are doing everything we can to engage and educate young people.

“We are deploying decoy cars with CCTV to act as a deterrent and help us identify the people responsible.”

Saghier Hussain, from Blackburn’s Private Hire Association, said: “We are thankful this is being taken seriously because we don’t want somebody to be seriously injured, we have a duty to put the safety of our passengers first. Having a rock thrown through a window could kill someone.”

A special communication group is being set up between the police and taxi driver to share information.

Martin Eden, the council’s environment director, said: “What has been happening is quite frankly disgraceful.

“Anyone going out to earn a living does not deserve to be attacked and withstand the financial burden of having to repair their vehicles.

“The people carrying out these mindless acts need to think, what they are doing could seriously injure or kill someone.”