Uber’s sexual assaults in London

This is the number being thrown around and sadly it’s not the number we want to know:

It stated that from Feb 16 to Feb 17 there had been 48 sexual offences recorded were Uber was referenced in a crime report for a private hire journey-related sexual offence- in London.

So now we can now positively state that Uber related serious sexual assaults including rapes, has increased this year by 50% going up from last years 32, to this years 48.

How much did Uber traffic go up by over that same period?

That is, it’s the rate, not the number, which is the important thing here.

Further, what’s the rate for other private hire companies? For black cabs? Is Uber better or worse is the question to be answered, the one that isn’t in fact being answered.

14 thoughts on “Uber’s sexual assaults in London”

  1. Not to mention that “referenced in a crime report” surely isn’t the same as “involved in” or “to blame for” a crime.

  2. Yes, I thought that too. “I wuz gonna get an Uber but this black cab went past so I fort….anna he raped me” isn’t really a reflection upon Uber.

  3. The BBC were as usual even handed on Radio 5 this morning. They had a black cab driver (a rival, one might conclude) making all sorts of allegations but to be even handed, they had a female passenger who had used Uber once every couple of months or so and had no connection with Uber or the cab trade in general to give the other side.

    The passenger kept going on about how safe she felt and wondered about mini-cab and black cab driver assaults but this wasn’t something the interviewer felt worth pursuing.

  4. Could someone do a FOI request to find the number of sex assaults, per mode of transport. With the safety features of Uber they could have overall decreased.

  5. Al Jahom has gathered some statistics about this. Source is the Spectator, but behind a paywall for some.

    Looks like about 23,000 black cabs, 40,000 Ubers, and I’m not sure how many minicabs.

    There’s a bit of a mishmash of statistics- figures for sexual crimes, comparison with figures for sexual-or-violent crimes, using different time periods. So some apples-and-oranges comparisons, or, as I like to call it, “fruit salad statistics”.

    Overall at first glance it doesn’t look like Uber is especially dangerous.

  6. So Much For Subtlety

    Drivers of minicabs and Uber cars tend to be Asian and Muslim. That is, they have horrendous attitudes towards women and come from a culture with a well known predilection for sexual assault (just count how many doctors accused of it are South Asian). In a job which is often called on to pick up drunken young women late at night.

    I mean what could go wrong?

    Except with Uber there is accountability as every driver is known and linked to every passenger.

  7. This is an exceptionally cynical campaign by TFL and the mayor, and much of the media, especially the smug ones who delude themselves that they are objective and impartial, are with them all the way.

  8. The data is that Uber have less reported assaults per driver.


    And this makes sense. It lacks the anonymity for drivers that a black cab has. Woman gets assaulted by black cab, he drives off. She then has to report him. She might not take a number down, or license plate. So, she then has to give a description maybe. With Uber, it’s all there. Logged in her phone, on Uber’s database.

    An interesting observation on Twitter is how much women, of both left and right are against this decision. Uber’s made a huge difference in London to women travelling home late who really don’t want to be on public transport late and can’t afford the eye-watering black cab fare.

  9. Same applies for the accusation that Uber doesn’t pay VAT or Corporation Tax. How many ordinary minicabs pay a penny of either of those?

  10. “Except with Uber there is accountability as every driver is known and linked to every passenger.”

    As with any private hire. That’s why Hackneys have stronger regulations. With a private hire, *you* are chosing who you hire, and it has to go through a control centre, and that control centre has to record the booking, pickup and dropoff location. With a Hackney you are getting whatever random vehicle happens to be passing you when you wave at it, you have no control over the product.

    By all means, level the playing field and force Hackneys to be booked through a control centre with all pickups recorded and ban them from plying for hire.

  11. London cabbies have a lot of sunk costs (3 years training) so incentive to not lose licence is higher than Uber driver.

    Having said that, incentive not to go to prison as a sexual offender should be pretty high for everyone.

  12. Isn’t the point being made by TfL here that Uber aren’t doing as much to assist the police in catching and punishing drivers who are reponsible of sexual assault than other minicab companies?

    Whether catching and punishing people actually lowers the sexual assault rate is a different question about the effectiveness of law enforcement at crime prevention.

    It may well be that – because these are such difficult crimes to prosecute – reporting sexual assaults to the police doesn’t deter people from committing them, so the rate is about the same with minicab companies that report and ones that don’t.

    But it’s still a obligation under their licence to report to the police.

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