Thugs target Uber and Taxify drivers

2019-06-25 06:01

Steenberg police are warning passenger transport services to be careful when entering the area, due to the rise in crimes committed against drivers and clients recently.

Sergeant Wesley Twigg Steenberg Police spokesperson says that Uber and Taxify drivers are common targets of crime in the area. He said in a statement: “It is clear that these drivers are the targets of perpetrators who are robbing them of their money and cellphones, and in some instances even their vehicles.

“The drivers are called to pick up their customers and after the customers are picked up they are being robbed.”

Gavin Walburgh, chairperson of the Steenberg Community Policing Forum (CPF), told People’s Post: “In the Steenberg precinct we have had a spike in Uber and Taxify robberies, then a decline and then a slight increase again recently – and that is very worrying. It doesn’t seem to be happening in any one specific area so we can’t identify the group of perpetrators.”

Uber and Taxify, as cheaper and supposedly safer alternatives to minibus taxis, have repeatedly come under attack since their inceptions in South Africa. Initially, these service providers came under threat due to low tariffs and drivers were fearful for their lives after many had been beaten or otherwise attacked while on duty.

Now in Steenberg, the prevalence of robberies has been on the rise – with both drivers and passengers who are waiting for their drivers being attacked.

While the groups of perpetrators are not yet known, there is hope.

Walburgh said that Steenberg police have made a few arrests in connection with these robberies.

Twigg urged transport users to be more aware of their surroundings, especially when travelling during peak hours, in order to prevent these crimes from occurring.

Walburgh added to that advice: “Don’t use cash. If they are cash clients, drivers should rethink picking up these clients. I would advise these drivers to use card services rather than cash.”

Steenberg Police Station commander Colonel Jan Alexander advises all residents to walk in groups rather than to walk alone which makes them vulnerable to attack.V Anyone with any information about any incident is encouraged to contact Steenberg police on 021 702 9000 or Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

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