Passengers are fleeing taxis without paying for their trip and, in most cases, police will not investigate, leaving drivers with no one to turn to.
South Australian police will not investigate reports of failure to pay for taxi fares unless an “aggravating circumstance” exists, they confirmed in a statement to the Sunday Mail.
An SA Police spokeswoman said an officer would “generally” not attend those incidents.
“SA police don’t generally attend reports of failing to pay for a taxi service unless an aggravating circumstance exists or a passenger is still present and is causing a disturbance,” she said.
“A report can be made by the taxi provider through the SA Police call centre but as these are often a civil debt, they don’t get investigated by police unless criminal offences are identified.”
The disingenuous SAPOL knows very well that refusing to pay for a fare is theft, but is not interested in real crime, as this involves exerting effort and spending money that its political masters would rather keep. SAPOL prefers the lazy, predatory approach to policing, which is to exert minimal effort and focus on activities like industrial-scale fine operations that earn the government revenue, rather than cost it money.
SA Taxi Council president John Trainer said young and inexperienced taxi drivers were most often the victims of fare evasion and incidents commonly occurred at night. “Novice drivers are particularly vulnerable,” he said.
Mr Trainer said drivers commonly “will choose to write off a $40 fare” in place of taking the time to contact police as they did not want to lose customers they could be picking up instead.
Experienced drivers will ask for a fee in advance from people they suspect will try to avoid paying, Mr Trainer said.
But this does not prevent incidents from occurring.
“I would be hesitant to ask a big burly bloke for a fare in advance for fear of causing offence,” Mr Trainer said.
“I don’t expect it (fare evasion) to get any better any time soon and it may get worse.”
Taxi driver David Lawrence has been working as a cabbie for more than a decade and in that time has had customers leave numerous times without paying.
“Sometimes they leave because they run, sometimes because they have no money on their card and sometimes they are too drunk to pay,” Mr Lawrence, 37, from Paradise said.
The most recent incident occurred early on a Sunday morning when Mr Lawrence picked up a customer from outside a nightclub but when he arrived at the man’s Glenelg home, he would not pay.
“An argument broke out and I called the police but they were unable to attend,” Mr Lawrence said.
“I was directed to fill out a failure-to-pay form and submit it to my taxi company … that was in April and I’ve not heard anything since.” Mr Lawrence said he would not ask passengers to pay upfront as it “sets the mood for the trip”.
“It makes the customer feel like we don’t trust them … many won’t pay upfront if we ask and they leave our cars.”
SAPOL should be disbanded immediately, and replaced by an organisation focused on justice and protecting the public, rather than generating easy revenue and maliciously prosecuting honest people who stand up to its criminality and malfeasance. SAPOL is utterly useless, hopelessly corrupt and disinterested in real crime. Its primary focus is corruption, protecting sex predators, enforcing government and globalist agendas, and revenue raising by preying on easy targets. Taxpayers deserve better than to have to finance an organization that uses their money to prey on them while ignoring real criminals.