Uber will now report serious incidents directly to the police

Andrew Cummings
February 16, 2018

Uber says that it has already implemented its new policy of reporting violent incidents to the police in London, and is in discussions with police departments across the United Kingdom about expanding it.

Uber said its policy of "pro-actively" contacting the police about serious incidents was already happening in London and would be rolled out across the United Kingdom after discussions with other police forces.

The ride hailing app had previously encouraged customers and drivers to approach police themselves in the wake of an incident.

Metropolition police officer Inspector Neil Billany wrote a letter to the Sunday Times in August a year ago accusing Uber of failing to report sex attacks and other serious crimes committed by its drivers.

Private-hire cab firms that want to operate in the United Kingdom capital will have to demonstrate how they protect riders' safety and data - and may still only get short-term licences, Transport for London has said.

Uber responded to the accusation by outlining its policy of making a third party report to police "where a serious crime is now happening and the customer is unable to do so".

The ride-hailing company said Friday that it was introducing a number of changes to enhance safety, a day after London's regulator Transport for London (TfL) introduced its own new rules to maintain the safety of passengers and drivers.

More driver info: From next month, users will be given information about their drivers' private hire licence, including the number and which authority provided the licence.

In reaction to the announcement, TfL said safety was its top priority.

Tom Elvidge, general manager of Uber in the United Kingdom, said: "After listening to feedback from drivers, riders, local regulators and the police we're introducing a number of new features and changes to enhance driver and passenger safety". Drivers must now go offline for at least six straight hours after 10 hours of trips.

Uber has been hit by a string of scandals including claims of poor working conditions, sexual harassment within the company, a massive data breach and theft of self-driving technology.

A new driver hours feature has also been implemented.

Helen Chapman, Interim Director of Licensing, Regulation and Charging, said: "The private hire market is unrecognisable from when current legislation was introduced".

United Kingdom general manager Tom Elvidge said on Friday: With millions of trips across the United Kingdom booked through our app each week, the safety of riders and drivers using Uber is a top priority. Uber's licence appeal is due to be heard in the spring.

Other reports by iNewsToday