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BORIS Johnson launches into the Christmas party season today with a campaign urging women not to jump into minicabs at night which haven’t been pre-booked.

The Mayor is issuing a warning about illegal touting in the sixth annual campaign set up by police and City Hall transport chiefs at the start of the festive season.

“But booking a minicab ensures a record of the trip is kept, where the driver can be traced in the event of any problems.”

The campaign features TV and cinema ads about the risk of sexual assault. Local authorities such as Tower Hamlets in East London are getting behind the campaign.

Council cabinet member Abdal Ullah said: “Getting into an unbooked cab is not worth the risk. It’s illegal and puts personal safety in jeopardy.”

The campaign launched six years ago has led to the number of women taking unbooked cabs dropping by almost 80 per cent, it is estimated, while ‘minicab related’ sex offences have almost halved. It is illegal for minicabs to tout for business on the street or run fares without being booked through a licensed operator.

Only licensed taxis can be hailed in the street or picked up at a rank without booking.