The police in KZN are urging taxi drivers and Uber and Taxify drivers to be on the alert after recent attacks on drivers by criminals, particularly in Umlazi and surrounding areas.
Police are planning a meeting to discuss the matter and possible interventions and have urged drivers to make contact so they can attend the next session.
In a statement, police spokesman Captain C Rhynes said taxi cabs and their drivers have been victims of carjacking and robbery in eThekwini Outer South Cluster, especially in Umlazi Township and surrounding area. It said the thieves’ modus operandi was that drivers were called to pick up a customer and then perhaps shortly after 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 earnings and personal belongings. In most cases their taxi earnings are taken and personal valuables such as cellphones.”
Rhynes said eThekwini Outer South SAPS was concerned about these crimes. Both Uber and Taxify had been requested by the SAPS to work with them in order to help bring awareness to their drivers. Uber had been working with police but Taxify had allegedly been reluctant to meet on the issue.
“EThekwini Outer South Cluster SAPS appeals to all Taxify drivers to please call the EThekwini Outer South Cluster Police OCC office at 031 325 5530 at any time and give their contact details to ensure they get invited to the next meeting by the SAPS. The meeting will be held to discuss the way forward, in keeping taxi drivers safe and aware of the criminals common tactics, in their line of business.”
The Mercury was unable to get comment from Uber or Taxify.