Police claim that Uber are ‘failing to report sex attacks’ by drivers which is of ‘significant concern’

Sarah Dunsby

Source: ©Photoshot

A you surprised by this?

A Metropolitan Police chief has hit out at uber as they are failing to report serious crimes, such as sexual assault to protect their reputation, which is of “significant concern.”

An Uber driver that sexually assaulted a passenger was allowed to assault another person because the police have accused Uber of not reporting the first attack.

The head of the Met police taxi and private hire unit, Inspector Neil Billany said that Uber are “deciding what [crimes] to report,” so it seems.

Billany said in a letter to Helen Chapman, who is the head of taxis and private hire at Transport for London (TfL) that: “Had Uber notified police after the first offence, it would be right to assume that the second would have been prevented.”

Billany said, Uber are “allowing situations to develop that clearly affect the safety and security of the public” as they [Uber] are not sharing any alleged crime to the police but only telling the police about “less serious matters” that will be “less damaging to their reputation.”

The Met police in 2016 were aware that six sexual assaults, an assault along with two public order offences that had taken place, it was reported to TfL and Uber.

Billany wrote: “The two public order offences mentioned above are subject to a six-month prosecution time limit so subsequently both were taken no further as, by the time we became aware of the offence, we had no power to proceed, despite both having clear evidence of an offence taking place.

“By not reporting to police promptly, they are allowing situations to develop that clearly affect the safety and security of the public.”

Billany further said that Uber refused to give any information to the police, unless the police formally asked for this under data protection laws.

However, Uber hit back saying that these comments do not reflect the “good working relationship” they have with the police and “were surprised.”

Uber is due to have their licence extended, or not by TfL, TfL said that this alleged failure is “totally unacceptable.”

Peter Blake, the director of service operations said: “We take any concerns about the reporting of sexual and violent incidents extremely seriously and have worked closely with the Met to ensure appropriate action has been taken against these drivers.

“Any delay in reporting serious crimes is totally unacceptable and we have been in contact with the operator to ask them to respond to these concerns.”

The Sunday Times has seen a letter to TfL outlining alleged crimes that included two public order offences, assault and most damning of all, it has been claimed that there were at least six sexual assaults on Uber passengers and on one occasion an Uber driver had was thought to be pepper spray at a road rage incident.

Caroline Pidgeaon who is the chair for London Assembly transport committee said to the Sunday Times, that “this apparent cover-up of reports about such serious criminal activity is shameful.”

A spokesman for Uber said: “We were surprised by this letter as in no way does it reflect the good working relationship we have with the police and the extensive support we provide.

“Our team includes former Met Police officers who work closely with the police and act quickly to respond to complaints.

“If there is a serious incident involving a licensed driver they are prevented from using our app and TfL is promptly notified.

“We advise people to report serious incidents to the police and support any subsequent investigations, but respect the rights of individuals to decide whether or not to make such reports.”

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