Uber suspends Delhi operations and promises review

Candlelit march in protest against alleged rape of female passenger Image copyright European Photopress Agency
Image caption Protests over the alleged rape have been gathering force in Delhi this week

Internet-based taxi firm Uber has said that it will suspend operations in Delhi while it reviews its service in India.

It follows the arrest of an Uber driver in the city who is accused of raping a female passenger. In response the Delhi authorities banned all net-based taxi services.

Uber apologised for what happened and acknowledged that it "must do better".

It will conduct a full audit of the way it screens drivers.

"We are sorry and deeply saddened by what happened over the weekend in New Delhi. Our hearts go out to the victim of this horrible crime. We have been [doing] and will continue to do everything in our power to assist the authorities to help bring the perpetrator to justice," Uber India said in a statement.

Previously the taxi service, which uses an online platform to connect drivers and passengers, had said that it would work with organisations in the city championing women's safety.

This latest apology goes further: "The events of this week have made us reflect on our operations in India and we are immediately undertaking a number of important actions. During this review we will suspend operations in New Delhi," it said.

Acknowledging that "we must do better", the US-based firm promised to conduct a full audit of its rider feedback processes.

"We are implementing measures to ensure that critical rider feedback is escalated immediately and immediate action is taken in every instance.

"We are also re-reviewing rider feedback on every driver partner across India to make sure nothing has been missed."

It said it would also assess all driver screening processes and look at whether additional screening options and background checks are necessary.

The way it screens its drivers has come in for close scrutiny not just in India but in other cities around the world.

Two Californian cities, Los Angeles and San Francisco, are taking legal action against the firm, partly over the quality of its background checks.

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