Howarth is interviewed for the Australian Broadcasting Corp. youth channel’s Hack program, and says Uber X – not Uber Black or Uber Livery – are exploiting drivers and operating against the law in several states of Australia. Asked if he is working with any other ridesharing or ridesourcing apps he indicates that he may have an arrangement with Uber’s competitors including Lyft. He says he is offering drivers that he citizens arrests the opportunity to work with other companies and make more money while also becoming ‘legitimate.’ Asked by host Tom Tilley if he stands to profit from other companies taking market share away from Uber:
Howarth, a hire car driver and former UK Riot Police officer recognizable for his long beard, has been making citizens arrests of UberX drivers across Sydney and has promised to arrest at least five a day. He says he uses ‘minimum required force’ that may include tactics such as wrist locks to ensure ‘immediate pain and compliance’. Video obtained by the Sydney Morning Herald shows that at one point he was confronted by O’Sullivan, Uber’s operations director for Australia, who he says located him by ‘listening in’ over the app when he booked an Uber X car to the Star Casino with the intention of making the arrest. An Australian Uber spokesman tells ninemsn that the cars don’t have listening devices and his claims bear ‘no relation to reality’. Spokesman:
Russell claims to represent a taxi industry that has not faced any competition in decades and, through its association with Mr Howarth, is now resorting to open intimidation and threats of force to those who dare to provide an alternative service
Howarth was previously an Uber X driver but says he left as the company is breaking the law and exploiting drivers:
I thought ‘I am not going to be a part of this lie’. Can you imagine if it happened in another regulated industry? If I said ‘I’m going to open an Uber-pub and sell $2 Coronas 24/7? I’d be amazed if the government allowed that to happen.