Regina police are reminding riders to ask for credentials or ID associated with a driver's business after a woman got into a car she believed was for hire, driven to a remote location and sexually assaulted.
Police have not shared the age of the victim, but say she is an adult female who was sexually assaulted by a man who offered her a ride home from a business on Dewdney Avenue.
Police say she left the business at approximately 2:40 a.m. and got into a vehicle that was in a line of taxis and Ubers.
The woman told the driver where she wanted to go, but he took her to the edge of the city instead, possibly near Pinkie Road. That is where police say the woman was sexually assaulted, before the man drove her to her original destination.
Officers say they believe the driver was not using a licensed cab or ride-hailing vehicle. They commended the victim for reporting the assault.
Police are reminding riders to ask for credentials or ID associated with a driver's business. When possible, "book" the ride on an app or by phone. Before getting in the vehicle have the driver say your name and ask for ID to confirm the driver is the one you were told to expect.
Regina police also suggest residents make a safety plan if travelling alone. This might include notifying someone of the expected arrival time.
Moravia de la O, a councillor at Regina and Area Sexual Assault Centre, says while she also commends the victim for reporting the incident to the police. But she says Regina needs to improve the way it discusses the crime of sexual assault.
"I would like the conversation to be expanded to focus more on the people who sexually assault others and what are the things that they can do to stop that behaviour … the ways in which they cannot hurt others, instead of focusing all our efforts on keeping ourselves safe," de la O said.
She wants Regina residents to know that while "stranger danger" is a real concern, sexual assault can also be closer to home.
"These kinds of stories … can be really scary. [But] they sometimes tell a story that is incomplete. The vast majority of sexual assaults that happen are perpetrated by people known to and close to the person who experiences the assault," she said.
In either case, De la O says, sexual assault is never the fault of the victim.
If you have experienced sexual assault and need support and help, Regina and Area Sexual Assault Centre's crisis information line can be accessed at 306-352-0434.
Police continue to investigate the Saturday morning assault, and are asking anyone with information to contact the Regina Police Service at 306-777-6500 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).