Last week it was reported that takeaway delivery driver, Jabed Hussain was attacked on his moped when two men pulled up and threw a corrosive substance at him. This shocking incident in London’s East End has brought the issue of driver safety firmly into the public spotlight.
Sadly, violence against delivery drivers is becoming increasingly common. According to Mr. Hussain, he and his colleagues have “felt unsafe for months,” having regularly been targeted by groups of youths. As a result of this, many drivers are now refusing to work after 8pm with some even asking to switch delivery area. Such is the level of concern for their safety, drivers in Hackney have created a WhatsApp group to alert each other to danger.
Safety Risks When Out on Deliveries
Typically, drivers are self-employed and there may not be adequate measures in place to protect them. Theft is one of the biggest issues, with many drivers being targeted by thieves looking to steal money or even vehicles. Drivers often work alone, travelling to remote areas and those with high crime rates. Takeaway drivers are particularly at risk as they deliver to people’s homes late at night after dark. In some extreme cases, incidents have been reported with false deliveries being staged with the intent to rob or even kidnap the driver.
Advice for Drivers
- Keep cash to a minimum. Consider having a ‘credit card only’ policy or making trips to deposit money if on multiple deliveries.
- Always verify jobs beforehand. Drivers should ensure they have the customer’s number and that the delivery address is stored on file so their whereabouts can easily be traced.
- Drive safely, take breaks and avoid trying to do too much. If you feel tired, find somewhere safe to stop.
- Park your vehicle somewhere nearby that is well-lit, safe and where you can easily see it. Remember to secure your vehicle first before making a delivery, even if you think you’ll only be a few minutes.
- Be cautious of people hanging around or if a property you are delivering to appears vacant. Trust your instincts, if you feel uneasy, get away to safety and make your employer aware.
- Avoid entering a customer’s property unless you absolutely have to.
- Don’t try to protect your money, vehicle or other valuables if threatened by robbers. Hand them over. Your safety is more important.
- Carry a small, discreet panic alarm that allows you to get help subtly at the press of a button. Devices such as Skyguard’s MySOS are backed up by a 24/7 Incident Management Centre, with Controllers that can listen in, speak to you and send for the emergency services on your behalf.