TAXI drivers in Bury are calling for more protection after a spate of attacks.

In the most serious weekend incident, large stones narrowly missed a passenger when they were hurled at a black cab by teenagers in Brandlesholme Road, Bury, smashing two windows.

The leader of the Bury Hackney Carriage Association is now calling for CCTV cameras to be made available for use inside cabs.

Other incidents at the weekend reported by taxi drivers included bricks thrown at their vehicles and teenagers walking on top of taxis parked at the rank outside Kay Gardens. Driver Mohammed Shafiq was driving along Brandlesholme Road, heading towards Greenmount, on Saturday night when the stones hit his cab. He claims they were thrown by a gang of up to 12 teenagers who were standing at a bus stop near the junction with Holme Avenue.

After taking his passenger to Greenmount, Mr Shafiq drove to Bury police station to report what had happened.

It is the second time in six months that the windows in Mr Shafiq's taxi have been damaged by stones.

Mr Shafiq, of Monmouth Avenue, Walmersley, said: "These people throw stones every weekend and this area is very bad. I am scared when I go driving down there. If more stones hit my cab, they could cause a lot more damage or even lead to me crashing the taxi. I could kill myself or my passenger. That's what scares me.

"I don't know why they are throwing stones at the black cab taxis. Maybe they don't like our cars, I don't know. I have to carry on driving taxis - I don't have a choice because I need to feed my family."

The incident has led to calls from father-of-five Mr Shafiq for more support from the police and the installation of CCTV cameras in the vehicles.

He said: "Having CCTV cameras in the cars would really help. The police should be there as well. I know they are busy, but there's a lot of trouble and being a taxi driver is very risky."

Charles Oakes, chairman of the Bury Hackney Carriage Association, is demanding action to help protect drivers working in the borough.

He said: "The incidents over the weekend are becoming the norm now. This sort of trouble is especially common in the town centre of Bury, so we are calling for the council to look at providing CCTV cameras within taxis. Our drivers could then lease them back for a small fee. We would also like taxi marshalls on the rank at Kay Gardens. Something needs to be done to tackle this anti-social behaviour."

Tony Holt, head of community safety for Bury Council, said: "We have recently erected a safety shelter on the taxi rank next to Kay Gardens for the purpose of looking after party-goers and local residents who have had a night out in Bury. We are more than happy to discuss the community safety concerns of the hackney carriage association and would add that CCTV cameras are installed in the area of Brandlesholme Road for the protection of the community."