Gardaí trying to defuse tensions between food delivery workers and local youths

Patrols increase in Dublin’s inner city in hope of averting future violence

Deliveroo and Just Eat workers on O’Connell Street in Dublin. On Friday, well over a hundred young people gathered on bicycles and cycled through the city centre. Some of the youths said they wanted to find and confront delivery drivers over a recent violent incident. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Deliveroo and Just Eat workers on O’Connell Street in Dublin. On Friday, well over a hundred young people gathered on bicycles and cycled through the city centre. Some of the youths said they wanted to find and confront delivery drivers over a recent violent incident. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

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Gardaí have launched increased patrols in the north inner city of Dublin following tensions between food delivery workers and local young people.

There are also plans to increase community outreach and youth diversion work in the area in the hope of averting future violence, sources said.

Gardaí said they are aware of increased animosity between Deliveroo workers and young people following several violent incidents in recent months.

“Our main response right now is through community relations. We want to deal with it in that way rather than dealing with another violent aftermath,” a source said.

Violent incidents

There have been several violent incidents in the northeast inner city over the last 12 months, some of which began as robberies of Deliveroo staff, who deliver takeaways from fast-food restaurants across the city, usually on bicycles.

On Friday, well over a hundred young people gathered on bicycles and cycled through the city centre. Some of the youths said they wanted to find and confront delivery drivers over a recent violent incident.

The convoy was escorted by cars from the Garda traffic unit and the Store Street public order unit was on standby. However, no major incidents were reported.

Gardaí say they have dedicated officers who are monitoring the situation in an attempt to prevent any outbreaks of violence.

Refusing to deliver

Other workers have started refusing to deliver to certain parts of Dublin 8 and its outlying areas. Some Deliveroo cyclists have also started using unbranded clothing and food bags to avoid attention.

On January 22nd, Dublin Deliveroo drivers staged an unofficial strike over pay and working conditions. The organisers highlighted the “lack of security” and the level of violence riders experience and said three couriers had been attacked in the previous week alone.

They also said their rates of pay had been “drastically reduced” which meant they now had to spend longer on the streets and “pedal more, to earn less”.

William Santos, a Deliveroo cyclist from Brazil, told The Irish Times on Monday that he and his colleagues are “frightened every night.”

“We are afraid because we don’t know what will happen to us when we deliver to a place.”

Deliveroo launched in Ireland in 2015, and currently works with more than 1,000 riders and over 1,800 restaurants across Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway. The riders as classified as self-employed and are paid per delivery.

Deliveroo’s Irish division recorded a 40 per cent rise in turnover last year as sales rose from €9.3 million to €13.8 million.