After a rise in acid attacks in London, with some against food delivery riders last month, Deliveroo is now providing its workers with helmet-mounted cameras. Since the attacks, over 70 Deliveroo riders have said they do not want to complete a delivery because of safety fears, reports the BBC. The initial trial of helmet cameras will be offered in the Hackney area of East London, a trouble spot, and will allow riders to film evidence in case of future attacks. A new security feature allowing riders to raise concerns about specific addresses — which is shared with the company and local authorities — has also been introduced in the Deliveroo app.
Additionally, Deliveroo promised to hire 50 new employees to focus on rider safety. “The safety of our riders is the most important thing to us, and it’s our responsibility as a company to step up our efforts so they can feel safe all of the time,” Deliveroo managing director Dan Warne told the BBC. Many victims of the acid attacks have suffered horrendous injuries, including permanent disfigurement.
Deliveroo is a food delivery service that operates in the UK and in about half a dozen European countries. It’s come under scrutiny in the UK along with other “platform companies” about the nature of their workers’ employment. Like Uber, Deliveroo’s business model relies on access to a flexible supply of labor, which means it doesn’t owe employment benefits like sick pay and holidays.