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.”