By Brian New

DALLAS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) — Uber confirmed 5,981 reported sexual assaults involving its passengers and drivers in 2017 and 2018, according to a new safety report released by the company.

With more than 3 million trips every day, the ride-sharing company said the “vast majority (99.9%) of Uber trips end without any safety-related issues at all.”

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In 2018, there were 235 reported incidents of rape, up from 229 reported incidents in 2017.

Uber said it believes sharing this information with the public will lead to greater safety for both riders and drivers. The company said the incidents include assaults by drivers as well as  riders.

“If you want to improve something, you have to measure it.” Brooke Anderson, Uber’s global safety communications head, told CBS News. “The public has a right to know and secrecy about the hardest issues we face doesn’t make anyone safer.”

While this is the first time Uber has revealed its reported sexual assaults, the CBS 11 I-Team has been reporting on these cases for years.

In 2015, Uber driver Talal Chammout picked up a Dallas woman in Oak Lawn, drove her home, then sexually assaulted her.

In the days after the woman reported the assault, an I-Team investigation discovered Chammout was a convicted felon yet somehow slipped through the Uber’s background check.

The I-Team also discovered Chammout had given Uber a fake city permit when applying to be a driver.

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Chammout was convicted of sexually assaulting the 27-year-old customer and was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Talal Chammout (Credit: CBSDFW.COM)

In 2017, Uber developed new technology to strength its background screening of drivers.

In its report, Uber acknowledged it can do even more to improve safety.

The company will soon will be rolling out new safety features including allowing riders to verify drivers with secure pin numbers and allow riders to send text messages using the Uber app directly to 911.

Uber said it will continue to release safety reports every two years.


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