Second Brisbane Uber driver charged with rape

JULY 14, 2017 10:02AM

QUEENSLAND police are urging women who have been sexually assaulted while using ride-sharing app Uber after a second Brisbane driver was charged with rape.

A 37-year-old man will face Brisbane Magistrate’s Court on Friday charged with the rape of a 16-year-old girl in the city’s south on July 8.

The teenager reported the incident to police the following morning, saying the driver raped her in his car.

It comes only days after a 47-year-old driver was charged with raping a young passenger three times.

Police have said the two matters are unrelated, but they do believe more incidents have occurred.

After the first incident, detectives warned they had suspicions the driver could be a serial rapist.

“Some of the information we’ve obtained during the investigation seems to lend itself in the police’s view ... that perhaps there may have been other incidents,” Acting Detective Superintendent Mick O’Dowd told reporters.

“We don’t have exact details of those incidents, which is why we’re asking our public appeal again for people to come forward if they’ve been in a situation that’s similar.”

Det Supt O’Dowd said Uber had been fully co-operative with police and dismissed any suggestion drivers had been forging identity details to successfully register as a driver with the service.

Detectives have previously said they believe that a man may have abused other women collected late at night from central Brisbane in the last two years.

Police today have made a separate appeal for victims who have been in similar situations to report the incident.

Uber has previously said its drivers undergo a criminal history check before being cleared to work for the company. Police have said Uber has been cooperative in their investigations.

Despite the incidents and belief more passengers have been assaulted, Det Supt O’Dowd said police have no concerns about the safety of Uber or other ride-sharing services.

“I don’t think from the actions of two persons you could draw a conclusion it makes Uber any less safe,” he said.

“There’s thousands of transports every day where people are collected and dropped at their destination without any problem at all.”

Mr O’Dowd said improving safety measures of forcing all Uber vehicles to have cameras installed was a matter for the company and not police.