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Safety of delivery drivers in question after fatal stabbing

Police borough commander to meet community leaders, delivery drivers and councillors after ‘road rage’ death of Taki Eddine Boudhane

10 January, 2020

Fellow riders Hadjer Beyaz and Zakaria Gherabi and tributes to Mr Boudhane

THE killing of delivery driver Taki Eddine Boudhane has raised questions about the safety of delivery drivers.

Mr Boudhane was employed by both Deliveroo and Uber Eats at the time of his death, and was killed by another driver in a suspected road rage incident near Finsbury Park station.

Camden and Islington Chief Superintendent Raj Kohli has now agreed to meet with community leaders, delivery drivers and councillors today (Friday) to discuss plans to tackle the dangers faced by delivery drivers.

Speaking after his death, Mr Boudhane’s brother, Islam, said something had to be done to prevent any more killings, and compared the dangers faced by delivery drivers to those faced by drug dealers.

Takieddine Boudhane

Taki Eddine Boudhane

“One guy told me I think we should start wearing bulletproofs for this job,” he said.

“Another guy told me that every time he has a shower he says to himself, wow I’ve survived another day. That’s the kind of thing a gang member says, or a drug dealer – not somebody working for their family like Taki. We don’t want this to be just another murder. Something needs to be done.”

Zakaria Gherabi also works as a delivery driver for Deliveroo, and knew Mr Boudhane well. He met with Labour Leader and Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn shortly after Mr Boudhane’s death to describe the dangers faced by drivers.

Mr Gherabi said he was not sure whether he should stay in London after his friend’s death.

“We all came here to make a good life for ourselves,” he said. “London is supposed to be the safest city in the world. Now I’m thinking again about staying here.

“I think about my 11-month-old son growing up here. Maybe I can survive what is happening, but I have to think about my family.”

Hadjer Beyaz, 29, of Archway, said she feared for her safety while on her motorbike.

“I’ve had incidents,” she said. “I’ve had two teenagers on a moped stop next to me at traffic lights. The one on the back looked at me, and tapped his friend on the shoulder. He said to him, ‘look it’s a woman’. I backed my bike up, and they saw I had a camera fitted. They sped off across the red lights, and I noticed they didn’t even have a number plate.

The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB)’s branch chair Alex Marshall, said: “Delivery workers are putting their lives on the line for poverty pay and BAME workers are among those most at risk. IWGB has seen a worrying rise in reports like this and in the event of an accident or assault at work, companies take no accountability.

“That is the gig economy culture. If these workers’ rights were respected by the companies they work for the picture would look very different and perhaps lives would be saved.”

Representatives from Deliveroo met with Mr Boudhane’s family in person on Wednesday to offer their condolences.

A company spokesman said: “We take the protection and safety of our riders extremely seriously.

“All Deliveroo riders are automatically insured and protected when out on the road and in the case of an accident or assault.

“We have a dedicated rider team in place to assist our riders following an accident and support with any safety concerns. Deliveroo takes a zero tolerance approach to any form of racism or violence. There is no place in our society for this deeply offensive behaviour.”

An Uber Eats spokeswoman said: “There is nothing more important than the protection and safety of couriers who use the Uber Eats app, and we will assist the police with their investigation in any way we can.”

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