Almost two-thirds of minicab driving offences are committed by Uber drivers say confidential police emails

  • Emails show 62 per cent of alleged private hire offences relate to the company
  • Many of the reported offences are 'relating directly to public safety'
  • Trade union GMB says inexperienced Uber drivers are more likely to take risks
  • The most serious allegations includedangerous, careless and drink-driving

Most people accused of minicab driving offences in the capital work for Uber , as police have revealed almost two-thirds of alleged offenders drive for the firm - reports dailymail.

Head of the Met's taxi and private hire unit Inspector Neil Billany said in internal emails that62 per cent of London's alleged minicab driving offences in the previous month involved Uber drivers.

This is despite the company only employing about a third of the capital's minicab drivers.

Emails in today's Sunday Times show the alleged offences include causing death by dangerous driving, careless driving, drink-driving, driving without insurance and speeding.

In the emails, which were written on July 7, Mr Billany raised 'concerns with Uber as an operator'

'I am seeing an increasing amount of my team’s workload relating directly to them . . . there seems to be a disconnect between them taking responsibility for their drivers, their driving standards and the condition of their vehicles.'

Out of the 128 private hire drivers reported to police in the previous four weeks, 79 were employed by Uber according to the emails, with Mr Billany saying 'many' of the alleged offences were 'relating directly to road safety'.

And from May 1 to July 16, the firm's drivers were responsible for just over half of all minicab traffic offences.

Last night Uber said the figures were 'proportional' to the number of its drivers, but only about 40,000 of London’s 117,000 licensed private hire drivers - 34 per cent - work for the the company.

Steve Garelick of the GMB union, which represents private hire drivers, said Uber's business model is part of the problem.

'We have been voicing concerns for a long time about Uber and this proves we were right to do so.

'They throw people in at the deep end with little or no knowledge — and when their rates are so low, drivers will take more risks.'

His comments come after Uber drivers in London and Manchester last year told The Sunday Times they were working up to 16 hours a day.

This was after the company increased its cut of fare income from 20 per cent to 25 per cent, which critics say forces them to work longer to make the same money.

Last week the paper revealed that Mr Billany, who is Britain’s most senior police officer dealing with taxis, accused Uber of failing to report sex attacks and other 'serious crimes' drivers committed against passengers.

Uber is facing a review of its London operating licence due to fears for public safety.

Mr Garelick called on Transport for London to impose new safety and driver protection measures as conditions for any long-term renewal of licences.

Uber confirmed it will restrict drivers’ hours but declined to say by how much. A spokesperson said it was discussing 'how best to support' police.

Read more news of London here.

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