More taxi cabs exposed to robberies

TAXI cabs and their drivers have fallen victim to carjackers and robbers especially in Umlazi Township, prompting police to warn drivers to be aware.

According to Captain C Rhynes from provincial SAPS, the drivers are called to pick up a customer and then shortly afterwards 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 hijacked and robbed of his earnings and personal belongings. In most cases their taxi earnings are taken and their personal valuables such as cellphones,” said Rhynes.

Taxi cabs, especially Uber and Taxify, have become targets of these crimes. On some occasions the taxi vehicle is taken and the driver kidnapped. He is eventually dropped off in an area unknown to him. The eThekwini Outer South SAPS are concerned about criminal activities taking place with the Uber and Taxify taxis and both these companies have been requested by SAPS to work with them in order to help bring awareness to their drivers.

Rhynes said SAPS are wanting to work with the Uber and Taxify drivers to help prevent them from becoming victims of such crimes, however, Taxify have been reluctant to meet with police to discuss a way forward to prevent such crimes from occurring. Uber has been working with the police, by reporting these matters and holding meetings with their drivers to discuss helpful hints to keep them safe and prevent such crimes occurring on more regular basis.

ALSO READ: Uber, metered taxi drivers robbed at gunpoint

Rhynes said all taxi drivers operating under the umbrella of Taxify and Uber are invited to attend a future meeting to help address the prevention of such crimes. Those who operate as taxi drivers, under the same method, but are not with Taxify or Uber, are also welcome to attend such a meeting.

“Together with the SAPS, so much more can be done to keep our taxi drivers safe,” said Rhynes.

Taxi operators are urged to contact the eThekwini Outer South Cluster Police OCC office at 031 325 5530 and give contact details to ensure they get invited to the next meeting with the SAPS.

 

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  AUTHOR
Lauren Walford
Journalist

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