Tesco suspends home delivery to Dublin suburb due to attacks on drivers
Tesco has suspended its online delivery service to customers in West Tallaght in Dublin due to a recent spate of attacks on its drivers.
A Tesco spokesperson this evening confirmed that it is ‘curtailing deliveries in a small number of areas in West Tallaght’ due to anti-social behaviour in the area.
The move comes amid reports that a handful of drivers have been subjected to intimidation, robbery and even shot at in recent weeks by local youths.
Earlier this month an online delivery driver was shot at with a pellet gun as he was making deliveries in the Killnarden Hill area of Tallaght. Fortunately the driver did not suffer serious injuries.
However, the incident was not isolated, according to a Tesco driver who rang RTE Radio One’s ‘Liveline’ programme yesterday.
The driver, who lives in Tallaght himself, told the phone-in show that there have been around five or six attacks on drivers in the area in which drivers have been swarmed by teenagers as they were making deliveries and targeted for stock.
The driver said the move is no reflection on its customers in the area, for whom he has nothing but praise.
“We as drivers are very upset this has come about ,” he told ‘Liveline.’
“But it’s not safe for us to go and deliver to our lovely customers.”
It is not clear whether the curtailment of service will be temporary or permanent.
However, in a statement, the company said: “From time to time we may curtail services in an area for a period of time due to incidents of anti-social behaviour in order to protect our colleagues and our customers.
"At present following several incidents, we are curtailing deliveries in a small number of areas in West Tallaght with an alternative collection option open to customers at Clondalkin and Naas. While we appreciate the inconvenience caused, the safety of our colleagues and customers is of paramount importance.”
But to some customers, the loss of the service, even on a temporary basis, is a major blow.
A woman named Pauline who is confined to a wheelchair following treatment for cancer said she relied on the home delivery service as she has no family or friends nearby who can deliver her groceries to her home.
While she said she has nothing but sympathy for the drivers, she said the situation has left her very angry.
“I can understand what the drivers are doing what they’re doing,” she told ‘Liveline’ today.
“I’m absolutely shocked at the extent and nature of attacks on the delivery men,” she said.
“Someone like me suffers because of a handful of gurriers. It’s so unfair.”
“A lot of people (using the service) are ill or elderly. It’s absolutely vital for me. I don’t know what I’m going to do without it.”
Local retiree Tom Durkan, who kindly rang the programme offering to deliver Pauline’s groceries himself, said he is appalled by what has happened.
“It’s beyond belief that this carry-on is going on,” he told ‘Liveline.’
Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for Age Action said it is typically the elderly who are the most affected by anti-social behaviour in their neighbourhoods.
“Anti-social behaviour impacts on all the community, but particularly the elderly,” she told Independent.ie.
She said Tesco’s free home delivery to over- 65s is a vital service for seniors, especially those who may have mobility issues or don’t have access to transportation.