Reports of sexual assaults by Uber, black cab and private hire drivers have risen 20 per cent in three years with more than 330 complaints in the past 12 months.
According to the MailOnline, the concerning figures from 23 of England and Wales’ 43 police forces show that 337 attacks were reported between April 2016 and March 2017.
Most of the reports were in London, rising from 142 to 156 in just three years, a Freedom of Information request found.
While the data showed that a varied group of drivers were involved in the sex attack reports, previous figures in the media have claimed that 32 allegations were made against Uber drivers specifically between February 2015 and 2016.
Twelve months later, that figure rose to 48 alleged offences.
More than half of private hire licensed drivers in London are Uber drivers.
The company is currently fighting TfL’s decision to refuse to renew its licence. TfL made the move partly on the grounds of ‘public safety and security implications’, after claiming Uber failed to report crimes carried out by its drivers.
Campaigners have called the increase ‘alarming’ and said it could be a sign that there was a lack of scrutiny when employing drivers.
Katie Russell, a spokesperson for Rape Crisis England and Wales, told the Guardian: “The obvious next step is for companies themselves to do urgent reviews of their security systems because obviously there are some weaknesses.
“We know rapists and sexual offenders are often quite devious in the way they plan their attacks. They often get themselves in positions of authority and responsibility, where they have access to potential victims - those industries may be attractive to sexual offenders.”