Durban police call on Uber and Taxify drivers to meet them
Police in Durban have called for a meeting with Uber and Taxify cab drivers to deal with them being targeted by criminals in Umlazi township and surrounding areas.
“The drivers are called to pick up a customer and then perhaps shortly [into the trip is] requested by the same customer to pick up another friend along the way to the original destination. Once the other passenger is picked up‚ a firearm is produced and the taxi driver is hi-jacked and robbed of his earnings and personal belongings‚” police said in a statement on Friday.
“Taxi cabs‚ especially Uber and Taxify‚ have become targets of these crimes.”
Police added that in some instances the vehicle is taken and the driver kidnapped but later dropped in an area unknown to him.
The eThekwini Outer South Cluster of the South African Police Service (SAPS) said it wanted to work with Uber and Taxify drivers to help prevent such crimes from occurring.
The police expressed concern that‚ while Uber drivers have been working with the police by reporting crimes and holding meetings to discuss ways to keep drivers safe‚ Taxify had been reluctant to meet SAPS.
But Taxify said it was working with the police.
“Taxify is thankful for this initiative from law enforcement to address safety for drivers‚” said Sinako Cetyiwe‚ Taxify’s operations manager. “We are in communication with the eThekwini Outer Southern Cluster and will continue to be to clear up any confusion and ensure our involvement in this project.
“Taxify sends out regular communications to drivers to warn them of potential hotspots and unsafe areas. Taxify has a dedicated support team to assist drivers throughout the day. We are also looking into ways to significantly improve driver safety. This includes technology‚ but also education and making sure we investigate every case in detail.”
Police urged cab drivers to call its cluster on 031-325 5530 so that they would be invited to the next meeting with the SAPS. “The meeting will be held to discuss the way forward in keeping taxi drivers safe and aware of the criminal’s common tactics.”
Police also urged any other operator using similar method got get passengers to attend the meeting.