Food couriers targeted by moped thieves
In the year prior to the pandemic it was reported that 7.5 billion food deliveries were made in the UK and a separate report from the NPD Group showed an increase in UK food deliveries of 39% in three years.
A similar study for hospitality EPOS company, Zonal, reveals that 28% of consumers in the UK ordered more meal deliveries than 12 months ago, with nearly half of the orders being made through online channels.
Whilst this growth is great news for the food delivery sector, it has also led to an increase in delivery drivers being targeted for their mopeds.
In the Police Foundation report titled ‘Victimisation and fear of crime in the gig economy’, it lists numerous firsthand accounts of food delivery couriers being threatened with weapons, being chased by offenders in vehicles, and returning from a delivery to find their moped’s gone.
Not only can a stolen motorbike have a devastating impact on a courier’s livelihood, that vehicle is then often used to commit other offences. If the theft has involved a physical confrontation or assault on the individual, that can also have long lasting emotional and psychological effect on the victim.
NBCC’s Paul Fagg said: “We know from talking with police and industry bodies that this ongoing threat is making couriers feel scared and vulnerable. However, many have no choice but to carry on in the job regardless of the risks. It is essential that the companies they work for do all they can to protect their employees by putting security and safety measures in place and provide them with guidance on how to stay safe.”
The NBCC has worked with a number of partners to develop a ‘Food Courier Safety Guide’ as part of their crime prevention series to provide practical advice to individuals and the companies who employ them.
The guide can be downloaded from the website and used as both a training aid for new staff and as a good practice checklist for employers.