Uber receives 3,000 reports of sexual assault
Ride-hailing firm Uber has said it received over 3,000 reports of sexual assault-related to its 1.3 billion rides in the United States last year, in a report aimed at ensuring drivers and the public it was serious about safety.
The figure represents a 16 percent fall in the rate of incidents from the previous year in the five most serious categories of sexual assault reported, Uber revealed in its first biennial U.S. Safety Report.
The firm also said reports of assaults on passengers overlooked risks for drivers as riders accounted for roughly half of the accused.
The 84-page report comes almost two weeks after Uber said it would appeal the loss of its license to carry passengers in London over a “pattern of failures” on safety and security.
Uber, which in the past has faced criticism over safety on its platform and has been repeatedly hit with lawsuits over driver misconduct, last year committed to releasing a safety report in a sign of a cultural turnaround under its new CEO.
The firm operates in 70 countries.
In the report, Uber said 99.9 percent of its 2.3 billion U.S. trips in 2017 and 2018 ended without safety incidents.
Uber said it puts drivers through a vigorous background check before accepting them onto its platform. In its report, it said one million drivers failed to pass the screening test in 2017 and 2018 and more than 40,000 were removed from the app after extra screening layers.
It also detailed 10 fatal physical assaults in 2017 and nine in 2018 - eight victims were riders, seven were drivers using Uber’s app, and four were third parties such as bystanders.