Deliveroo riders to start wearing GoPro helmet cameras following acid attacks
Deliveroo riders are to start wearing video cameras following a spate of violence against food couriers.
The company is trialling the use of GoPro helmet cameras for its riders as protection against attacks, which have recently been victims of robberies and acid attacks while on deliveries.
Deliveroo said it will hire an additional 50 members of staff dedicated to monitoring rider safety, as well as provide its riders with training from the police, local authorities and ambulance services in an effort to prevent future incidents.
In recent weeks riders in the capital for Deliveroo, Uber and other firms have been hospitalised with stab wounds, attacked with acid and had their vehicles stolen by perpetrators as young as 12.
Scores of Deliveroo riders have reported not wanting to complete a delivery for safety fears following the incidents, which have included harassment by other people on mopeds.
The Government has been urged to tighten laws around the sale and possession of acid following the spate of attacks, while the NHS has said it will provide additional training for healthcare staff.
Deliveroo riders will be able to report incidents directly from within the app to police and the company, as well as gather live evidence of any problems through the GoPro cameras.
In the wake of the attacks, Deliveroo couriers have taken to informing one another of problems through an ad hoc network on the WhatsApp messaging app, according to the Hackney Gazette.
"We will do everything we can to protect our riders and have put in place new measures so that riders can report any concerns they have or even move to work in another area if they feel unsafe," said Dan Warne, managing director of Deliveroo UK and Ireland.
"We are working closely with the police and local councils, and sharing all the information our riders give us in order to help tackle crime against our riders, which is why we’re implementing new measures like our app, and helmet-mounted cameras. These will allow us to work together, share information, and bring criminals to justice."
UberEats riders have also been affected by the problems, but Uber is yet to announce additional safety measures. One of its riders, who was the victim of an acid attack last month, told the BBC he put his life at risk and that he feels as though he is working "in a jungle".
Uber said: "The safety of the couriers that have signed up to UberEATS is our top priority and we don’t want anyone to feel unsafe when they use the app.
"If a courier doesn’t want to deliver after dark or doesn’t want to go to a certain area they absolutely don’t have to."