TAXI DRIVERS in Dunfermline are having to put up with shocking racial abuse.

The Press has been shown disgusting dashcam footage of two incidents which took place in Dunfermline over the Christmas period where drivers were subjected to the aggressive, abusive behaviour.

In one case, a driver, who wanted to remain anonymous, had his meter pulled out and his windscreen smashed when a woman kicked off in the early hours because she had been asked for an up-front payment for a fare to Saline.

The driver was heard shouting: "Help me, help me" during a struggle and was then called a "f****** P*** b******" by the woman as she left the vehicle.

The Press has also seen footage where another driver is branded a "cheating f****** black b******" and a "black P*** b******" after a dispute over a tariff. In this case, the driver did not want to talk about what he experienced.

Police Scotland have confirmed they are investigating the former incident.

A spokesperson said: "We received a report of an assault and a vandalism to a car on Saturday, 28 December. The incident happened around 3.30am on Carnegie Drive in Dunfermline. Enquiries are ongoing and officers are following a positive line of enquiry.

"Anyone with information or concerns about this incident is asked to contact police on 101, quoting reference number 0580 of 28 December 2019."

The driver involved expressed shock at what had happened at the Carnegie Drive taxi rank.

"It is my job and my family's survival," he said. "I am unable to work because the vehicle is parked in front of my house. Due to holidays, no-one is there to fix the windscreen. The busiest time is the last week and if you are out of job for this time, how much will I have lost?

"I still don't believe that this has happened in Dunfermline. I was still thinking Dunfermline is a very peaceful area. My wife is just saying stop this work for the taxis. She is worried."

One Dunfermline taxi firm owner said he felt such incidents were on the increase.

"At the end of the day, it is just some people – they have the drink and stuff comes out," he said. "We are still humans. It happens more to us Asian drivers. The reason we are speaking up is it is getting worse by the day. When I first started on the taxis, it never used to be this bad. Something must have happened that has led to this.

"It is time to step up because if we let it go every time it will become acceptable.

"Every day we are worried. It is just a weird feeling.

"We want people to know how we are suffering from this. It makes an impact on everything."

West Fife Taxi Association chairperson John Aitchison expressed sadness to hear what had happened.

"These are licensed cabs and licensed drivers – if we step out of line, we are accountable and can lose our badge," he said. "With members of the public, there is not that accountability so it has to be reported to the police.

"They are just out there trying to earn a living like anyone else."

Nina Munday, manager of the Fife Centre for Equalities, told the Press: "More recently, there's been a rise in that kind of racial hatred.

"Because there has been a time when we saw less of this racial bullying of taxi drivers, maybe more recently there has been tension around because of all the political debates. Somehow it creates in some people a mindset that they can say anything at all.

"We should not accept any of this as they are hate crimes."

Dunfermline Central councillor Garry Haldane said the incidents were "disturbing and worrying".

He said: "Our taxi drivers give us all a very important service and work long, anti-social hours to give us a level of service bettered by no-one. To be abused for helping someone get home from either shopping or a night out is disgusting and should never be tolerated.

"This is something society should not be tolerating, never mind taxi drivers."

Fellow councillor Derek Glen added: "We all need to remember that service-providers are people, just doing their jobs, which can be hard enough at busy times of the year like Christmas and Hogmanay. Abuse, whether verbal or physical, is unacceptable – even more so when it is driven by prejudice – and it is important for all of us to take responsibility to stand up to or report any such incidents."