Transport for London have released the latest private hire and sexual assualt figures for the London area.
The figures are pertaining to offences that were recorded by the police in 2017. Not all of the offences reported have resulted in a driver being charged. This could be for various reasons, including the driver not being traced and identified, insufficient evidence to charge a suspect, the Crown Prosecution Service deciding it is not in the public interest to prosecute, or the victim's reluctance to proceed with a prosecution.
Transport for London figures show that rape allegations have increased in the private hire sector by 13.3%, whilst allegations of other sexual offences have dropped by 4.6% on the previous year.
There have been no taxi related sexual offences reported in 2017.
Transport for London break down the figures by working with the Metropplitan Police Service and the City of London Police Service to provide information about the licence status and journey type for all drivers who have been charged with a Taxi and Private Hire journey-related sexual offence, recorded in the 2017 calendar year.
A driver will be charged when the MPS or CoLP has determined that there is sufficient evidence for the case to go before the Court, and the Crown Prosecution Service decides that there is a reasonable chance of a conviction and that it is in the public interest to charge the suspect with a sexual offence. Information about the location, time of offence and any details about the suspect involved is used by the MPS, CoLP and TfL for intelligence-led enforcement and investigation. Some reports of offences which have taken place are unbooked and the drivers can't be traced. The police are more likely to be able to trace and take action against a minicab driver, for example, when they are licensed and the journey is booked through a licensed operator as there will be a record of the booking and the driver.
There were 21 drivers charged for 24 offences. Three drivers were charged with more than one offence.
These figures relate to crimes recorded by the police in 2017 and verified against TfL's Taxi and Private Hire licensing database.
Of the 21 charged, 3 were chaged with rape, of which 1 was found not guilty, 1 was convicted and 1 is still awaiting a court hearing.
Of the 21 remaining charges listed as sex related offences, 8 were found not guilty, 8 were convicted and 5 are awaiting a court hearing.
Of 19 private hire drivers who were charged with one or more offences, that number is spread between 6 private hire operators. Havering Cars, Keen Cars, Goldline Cars, Melville Cars and Triple A Express, all had 1 driver on their platform charged with a sex related offence, leaving Uber with 14 drivers on their platform who were charged.
The drivers from Melville Cars and Triple A Express were both found guilty of an offence, as were 6 Uber drivers. 4 uber drivers along with drivers from Goldline, Havering and Keen Cars, werr found not guilty. There are 6 Uber drivers still awaiting trial.
Offences that are committed outside of London by London licensed drivers are investigated by the local police force for that area. Those offences are not included in TfLs figures.