A senior Met police officer has accused Uber of failing to report sex attacks on women by its drivers, with the omissions leading to a second assaults on different victims just months later.
Inspector Neil Billany, head of the Metropolitan police's taxi and private hire unit, wrote an explosive letter to Transport for London titled "Concerns with Uber not reporting serious crimes."
Liberal Democrat politician Caroline Pidgeon obtained the letter through a Freedom of Information request. It was first reported by The Sunday Times.
The letter deals with the fact that Uber reports selected crimes to Transport for London, but nothing to the police directly, potentially putting passengers in danger.
In the letter, Billany detailed how Uber failed to report a sexual assault to the police in January this year. According to his account, Uber spoke with the driver, who denied the offence, then did "nothing more."
Then the driver struck again four months later, assaulting a different female passenger.
Three days later, Uber fired the driver and only then informed Transport for London, which in turn told the police.
"Had Uber notified police after the first offence it would be right to assume that the second would have been prevented," he wrote.
He also said the female victims in both instances assumed Uber would contact the police about the cases, which it didn't.
"It is also worth noting that once Uber supplied police with the victim's details, both welcomed us contacting them and have fully assisted the police with the prosecutions," he said.
He added that Uber didn't automatically report serious crimes in case it breached passenger rights.!!!!
In another incident, an Uber driver terrified a passenger after getting into a "road rage" altercation with another driver.
The Uber driver pulled what looked like a handgun from a the gloved box, and chased after the other vehicle.
"At this point, the passenger ... fled the vehicle in fear," Billany wrote. It turned out the "handgun" was actually pepper spray, which is still classified as a firearm, he said.
He accused Uber of reporting only "low-level" fraud, but of not reporting more serious episodes because they might damage the company's reputation.
"My concern is two-fold," he wrote. "Firstly it seems they are deciding what to report (less serious matters / less damaging to reputation over serious offences) and secondly by not reporting to police promptly they are allowing situations to develop that clearly affect the safety and security of the public."
If this letter had been referring to Sid’s Cars from Sudbury Town, their licence to operate would have been immediately revoked.
But this isn’t Sid’s... it’s Uber who -as we now know- are backed by the same investment bank (Black Rock) that holds TfL’s £4bn pension pot !
We must also remember that TfL have swept under their soiled carpet, the fact that 13,000 drivers were exposed to have fake DBS certificates. Only 2,600 were written to... meaning there are still well over 10,000 drivers out their picking up the public who are known by TfL to have fake criminal record checks (DBS).
TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
Lets also not forget the conflict on interest were Uber offer TfL staff discounted Uber rides on the MyTFL website.
LES HOATH’S EXTRA BIT :
Let’s also not forget the obligations of London operators.
PHV(L)A 1998 s4(1)
The holder of a London PHV operator’s licence (in this Act referred to as a "London PHV operator") shall not in London accept a private hire booking other than at an operating centre specified in his licence.