[OPINION] Online taxis and the increasing rate of crimes in our society

Author of the article, Kwame Tutu

Have you taken time to ponder about the influx of online transport services and what their contributions to crime might be in this modern times?

Though I patronise the services of these online taxis, I have been asking myself loads of questions. Wondering if some bad nuts cannot easily take advantage of our poor security system to commit crime on the citizens?

These taxis, per their operations and facilities can locate our homes, offices, hideouts and even wonts.

They get access to our telephone numbers, photos, emails and other vital information which could easily enable the bad ones to track the activities of those they target.

I encountered a typical example of how dangerous these online taxis (drivers) could be quite recently.

I ordered one of these popular online Taxis and the name of the driver as appeared on the App was Otoo, just one name. I need not mention that no one has one name.

Simple question, how can anyone be traced with one name when a crime is committed, as there are thousands of Otoos in this country?

It dawned on me to do a further check on my True Caller App. When I did, the name that popped up was rather Iddrisu.

When I confronted the driver upon his arrival, he tried to give a flimsy excuse, then he began prattling on realising that I was serious with my questions.

He explained that someone had used the sim before he bought it?
Does this explanation make sense? Because I didn’t buy that excuse.

Question is, how is the State ( herein the Security agencies) involved in the operations of these online taxi operators especially in their registration of drivers?

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Is it enough for anyone to just submit any form of documents to the operators to be registered to work?

Are citizens safe in the hands of these online drivers?

I learned that other foreign nationals also drive some, how can we verify if they are criminals or not?

I do not claim to know anything about security matters but I think we have to factor the phenomenon of online transport into our intelligence gathering to combat crime, especially kidnappings in our society.

It behoves on the vigilance of good citizens to monitor the actions and inactions of drivers they pick, take a good look at them in case it happens they have to be identified later on to the authorities.

Keeping their contacts for a little longer, at least a week or two in a situation where a driver has to be tracked down by the law enforcement authorities.

Periodically checking if someone has hacked into your email, phone and social accounts.

Be mindful of your conversations with the drivers while onboard an online taxi.

Do not show off, keep your expensive gadgets in your bags.

Do well to make sure you don’t expose big money, have your fare somewhere you can easily reach upon your arrival.

Always be extra careful at night, disagree when they opt for shortcuts, especially in places one is not familiar with.

Recently there have been social media harbingers warning the general public to be wary of a possible conspiracy by a cartel to abduct individuals to unsuspecting places and houses in Accra to harvest their organs for money.

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One individual appeared on Onua TV to confess being a serial killer counting his exploits and was later picked up by the police for questioning into the veracity of his allegations.

I am just a security savvy citizen worried about the high spate of crime within our edenic society we used to know and fast losing it to sophisticated crimes.

By Kwame Tutu|Host Of 100 Degrees on Onua TV.