Taxi Council of Queensland Inc.
August 23, 2017
Failure to report attacks a cause for concern
The Taxi Council of Queensland (TCQ) has expressed alarm about recent news from the United Kingdom that indicates Uber has failed its duty in reporting sex attacks committed by its drivers.
The Telegraph newspaper reported that London's Metropolitan Police was seriously concerned that the company was cherry-picking what incidents it reported to the police in order to protect its public image.
The Telegraph article quotes Inspector Neil Billany, head of the Metropolitan Police's taxi and private hire unit, saying he had "significant concerns" about Uber’s behaviour and he believed that Uber were only notifying police of “less serious matters” that would be “less damaging to its reputation”.
Among the list of serious crimes that the company allegedly failed to report to police were a string of sexual assaults, two suspected public order offences, and one very serious incident in which a driver produced pepper spray during a road rage argument.
Given the recent spate of Uber drivers being charged with sexual and other offences in Queensland, it begs the question as to whether there may be more incidents coming to light in the future.
TCQ chief executive officer Blair Davies is particularly concerned that we may have only seen the tip of the iceberg.
“In the last month we have had three Uber drivers charged with very serious offences and the Premier’s only response has been to say Uber “needs to start accepting responsibility,” Mr Davies said.
“This is to the same company that was outed for pulling the wool over the Government’s eyes using its “Greyball” app enhancement, and now outed for irresponsible behaviour in relation to reporting crimes by its drivers in the UK.
“If anyone has to start accepting responsibility for the lack of safeguards protecting vulnerable members of the community using booked hire services, first and foremost it should be the Queensland Government.”
Taxi Council of Queensland Inc.
August 9, 2017
How many Uber victims before the Government acts?
The latest alleged sexual assault involving an Uber driver in Brisbane provides further cause for the State Government to rethink its position on the safety of booked hire services, according to the Taxi Council of Queensland (TCQ).
TCQ CEO Blair Davies said the evidence keeps mounting for the Government to mandate security cameras in booked hire vehicles.
“The proof is compelling; these services are not as safe as the Government thought. This is sadly becoming just too common an event in Brisbane and it’s also likely to be a problem elsewhere in the state.
“How many more young female victims do there need to be before this Government does something?”
Sexual assault (rape) charges were recently laid against two other Uber drivers in Brisbane, and Mr Davies has questioned whether these alleged incidents would have happened if security cameras were in those vehicles.
He said while booked hire drivers must have criminal background checks like taxi drivers, these checks only provide half of the solution.
“Checks stop convicted predators driving taxis and booked hire vehicles, but what about predators who have never been caught?
“If a sexual predator hasn’t been caught or charged with an offence, they won’t be red flagged. Security cameras complement criminal history checks and provide the extra level of protection needed to deter anyone without a record using a taxi or booked hire vehicle for criminal behaviour.
“Since 2005, taxi passengers and drivers have been safer because of security cameras being mandatory in Queensland taxis. It’s now time for the Government to step in and make them mandatory in booked hire vehicles as well.”