Durban - The eThekwini Outer South Cluster police have noticed that more and more taxi cab drivers are falling victim to hijacking and robbery, especially in the uMlazi township and surrounding area.
Captain Carmen Rhynes said, “The drivers are called to pick up a customer and then are requested by the same customer to pick up a 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.”
Rhynes said that in most cases, the money the drivers have earned and their valuables, such as cellphones, are taken.
She said it was especially Uber and Taxify cabs which had become targets.
“On some occasions the taxi vehicle is taken and the driver kidnapped. He is eventually dropped off in an area unknown to him,” continued Rhynes.
She said the police were concerned and both companies had been requested to work with officers to make their drivers aware of the danger.
“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 have 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 a more regular basis,” she said.
“The police would like to ensure they can help to prevent further such incidents from happening in the township and surrounding areas. 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.