Why are Police doing standover for taxi companies?

Instead of catching real criminals, or stopping speeding drivers doing one kilometre per hour over the speed limit (because you know, speed kills) it seems the Police are now acting as enforcers for the beleaguered taxi industry under pressure from a new company in the market challenging their fold failed business models.

Two Uber drivers face court amid a crackdown that led to an Auckland DJ being kicked out of his cab yesterday.

Tim Phin, George FM DJ and publisher of Remix magazine, posted details of yesterday’s incident online.

“We pay the police to find crack dens, prevent rapes, stop burglaries. Not to kick me out of a car,” he wrote.

Fellow passenger Carl Thompson told the Herald on Sunday they had travelled about 200m along Great North Rd, Ponsonby, when police pulled the car over and ordered them to get out.

“It’s a bit ridiculous. The cop stuck his head in the window and asked us if this was an Uber and then told us to get out because Uber was operating illegally,” said Thompson.

“We contacted Uber afterwards and they filed a police complaint on our behalf, so that’s pretty cool.”

Uber claims an officer has been targeting drivers and leaving passengers stranded. “We have filed complaints with the Independent Police Conduct Authority for this unacceptable and potentially dangerous behaviour,” said Uber spokeswoman Katie Curran.

Police denied that claim, saying officers dropped off passengers at their homes or in the central city where licensed cabs were available – but confirmed “several private hire drivers” had been issued infringement notices.

“We take our responsibility to ensure public safety seriously and where police stop a vehicle that has passengers on board, police will look to ensure they have a safe way of getting home,” said Inspector Jim Wilson, acting district commander for Auckland City Police.

Funny how the cops never go after dodgy cab companies with foreign drivers who try and rip you off, it’s been complete silence from them for years on the taxi industry.

Don’t tell me there aren’t problems out there with current cab companies…everyone has a story to tell of ratbag drivers.

Just last year one driver tried it on with me in Wellington, not realising I lived there for 9 years doing my penance in the Windy City.

Fairfax confirms that the Police have unwittingly stepped into the middle of what is really a demarcation dispute. With old school cab drivers filing complaints with Police who then go bully their competitors.

Police are cracking down on Uber, the cheap and trendy new-kid-on-the-taxi rank, leaving paying customers on the pavement.

After complaints from the old-school taxi firms, police have begun fining the Uber drivers whose lower fares have been hurting the big cab companies.

The private car hire service has hit back, lodging a complaint of police harassment with the Independent Police Complaints Authority. A spokeswoman said police officers put passengers at risk by booting them out of the hired cars.

 

The Police have overstepped their mark here. The complaints are nothing short of harassment on behalf of business competitors…it is a civil dispute not a criminal one.

The public and market will judge the service and reputation of Uber, but now as a result of basically industrial sabotage that reputation is tarnished because of Police action and headlines in major Sunday papers.

Who ever is their NZ PR person they should be fired, they’ve allowed their customer to be smeared from one end of the holidays to the other while they have been sunning themselves with their high ranking “connections” who have been no use whatsoever for the cause.

 

– NZ Herald, Fairfax


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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