Queensland police urge women to tell of attacks after second Uber driver charged

Queensland police are urging women who have been sexually assaulted while using Uber to come forward after a second Brisbane driver was charged with rape.

A 37-year-old man was due to face Brisbane magistrates court on Friday charged with the rape of a 16-year-old girl in the city’s south on 8 July.

Police have disclosed no details of the alleged attack except that it happened in the man’s car and that the victim reported the incident to police the next morning.

Last week a 47-year-old driver was charged with raping a young passenger three times.

Police say the two incidents are unrelated but they do believe other assaults may have occurred.

Detectives have previously said they believe the 47-year-old man may have abused other women collected late at night from central Brisbane in the past two years.

“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 said.

“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.”

O’Dowd said Uber had had cooperated fully with police and dismissed any suggestion drivers had been forging identity details to register as a driver with the service. Police had no concerns about the safety of Uber or other taxi services, he said.

“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.”

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


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