Monday, 04 September 2023 12:04

69 taxi operators killed since start of 2023

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Egeton Newman, president of the Transport Operators Development Sustainable Services (TODSS), disclosed that 69 taxi drivers have been killed since the beginning of the year.

On Saturday last, a taxi driver operating on the Half-Way Tree to Price Rite route in St Andrew was murdered by criminals, allegedly for extortion money. He is just the latest victim in a concerning trend where taxi drivers have found themselves targeted by violent criminals.

Newman described this as a "dark time" in the transport sector.

"I am disheartened by the ongoing deaths of our operators while performing their duties. The bloodshed of over 69 drivers has stained our streets this year, and we urgently call for an end to these heartless killings of public transport operators. It is a dark time for our transport sector," Newman told Loop News.

"We believe that extortion is the primary cause. We're aware that our drivers are being extorted and nobody seems capable of putting an end to it. We urge the government to dismantle this criminal network and halt the slayings on our streets."

According to statistics compiled by TODSS, there were 23 murders of taxi drivers in 2018, followed by 17 in 2019. The number doubled to 34 murders in 2020 and has continued to rise since then, with 41 murders in 2021 and a peak of 57 in 2022.