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Deliveroo riders speak out after facing harassment in Cardiff

Delivery cyclists say they are fed up of being repeatedly attacked by teenagers in the city centre

A DELIVEROO cyclist has spoken out about the threats riders face after being targeted by groups of young people in Cardiff. 

The cyclist, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals, claims that abuse and theft are getting worse on the job after being subjected to regular harassment.

He said: “Two weeks ago I was waiting outside Wagamama with my bike lights on but facing towards the wall. A group of young people came up to my bike while I was at the side door grabbing my order and they tried to remove my lights. Thankfully, there were other riders there with me to help deal with the situation. 

“I’m not a small guy, but I still wouldn’t want to start a confrontation with a group of teenagers. I’ve had things stolen on my bike in the past, but I’ve never seen it happen right in front of me. There is something very wrong here. These incidents happen pretty often, and I am completely fed up with it.” 

The rider believes that his employer and the local police should do more about the assaults that delivery workers are subjected to. 

He said: “I’ve reported it to the police, but I don’t think this will result in anything. Our insurance on the app does not cover our vehicles or equipment despite being under a contract with them. I have had parts stolen on my bike multiple times and nothing has ever happened to cover me for that. 

“Bear in mind all of the equipment outside of branded clothing is stuff that we have to pay for ourselves – lights, cameras, e-bike motors, bikes themselves. We’re just left to pay out of our own pocket for these things. It’s annoying knowing we are basically powerless to do anything.” 

While crime and anti-social behaviour around the city centre has increased by over 70% since January, nearly 30% of suspects have remained unidentified.

Other delivery cyclists have also complained that people often throw things at them while riding through the city centre and Adamsdown.

“Items have actually hit my right hand while using a moped at work. Our right hands are used to engage the throttle and front brake. It is dangerous and really painful,” another delivery cyclist said.

Ben Griggs, an employee at UberEats, has been assaulted while working in the city centre, but believes this happens very rarely. 

He said: “I’ve had a few people harass me, but I’ve never had anything stolen. It was predominantly young adults. I had a guy shouting at me and saying he was going to ‘kick my head in’ because my wheel mildly brushed him as I was walking my bike into McDonalds the other night. 

“Someone threw a glass bottle at me for no reason as well while cycling over the Taff but they missed. I wouldn’t say this type of thing is super regular though. And I think UberEats would pay for repairs to my bike if something happened.” 

A spokesperson for Deliveroo stressed that they are very concerned about the alleged attacks against delivery riders in Cardiff but said that employees should know that their vehicles are insured while working.

They said: “An assault on one rider is an attack on all of us. There is no place for this, especially when riders are carrying out a vital role in their communities, helping the public receive the food they need and want.

“The security and safety of riders is our absolute priority, and we take every step to ensure they feel safe when on the road.  We were the first delivery platform to give all riders free insurance to protect them in case something goes wrong while on the road, and we are constantly seeking new ways to strengthen our safety measures.”

Deliveroo’s free rider insurance covers employees for claims made against them or personal injury. However, the company also points to buying further insurance for motorised scooters and cars used on the job.

The spokesperson highlighted that Deliveroo offers a free app called Busby too. This allows Deliveroo riders to report incidents quickly, warn others of safety issues and send out flares to emergency contacts.

Deliveroo is currently working with local authorities to prevent anti-social behaviour.

A South Wales Police spokesperson also stressed that the city centre is regularly patrolled by high-visibility officers to prevent this type of crime and anti-social behaviour.

“South Wales Police thoroughly investigates all incidents of violent crime. The city is also covered by an extensive network of CCTV cameras,” said the spokesperson.