Delivery riders in Dublin are “really afraid” on the job – with stone, bottle and knife attacks a regular occurrence.
Violent crime in Dublin has been under the spotlight in recent weeks, and those working in the delivery business are no strangers to aggression and anti-social behaviour.
Since the attack on the US tourist in Dublin last month, residents, politicians and victims have been speaking about the rise in anti-social behaviour in the capital.
Delivery drivers have long been the victim of such attacks, with incidents ranging from road rage to verbal abuse, to physical attacks.
Reporting for The Pat Kenny Show, Newstalk's Josh Crosbie joined delivery riders cycling around Dublin to hear about the abuse and violence they face in their day-to day lives.
Riders Daniel and Dener from Brazil took Josh cycling around the city – and told him they have been involved in many incidents since they began delivering.
"The guys I went with have had stones and bottles thrown at them," Josh told The Pat Kenny Show.
"One guy I met from Bolivia said he was attacked with a knife in Temple Bar only two weeks ago ... due to wearing three layers of thick clothes, the blade that was used against him didn't do as much damage as it could have."
'They are being attacked, they are being robbed."
— NewstalkFM (@NewstalkFM) August 2, 2023
Daniel said it was especially difficult to drive because of "the weather and teenagers".
"Everything is against you," he said.
"The area where I'm going now is dangerous because they used to walk around in [the] street ... so I need [to] watch [my] back.
"I do delivering in [the] evenings, in [the] night, I work in a hotel – it's more safe because nighttime is more dangerous."
‘I’m thinking about buying a Taser’
Dener said attackers are not necessarily interested in money but instead want to intimidate drivers.
"I have been attacked in Ballyfermot – I have been attacked by five guys, I just try to defend myself," he said.
"I'm thinking about buying a Taser, just for protection."
Jean Fernando Schroeder, who owns Seven Bikes, said his shop rents almost exclusively to delivery drivers – and has become a hub for riders to share information.
"We are really afraid about these things because life is really important," he said.
"They are attacking the people ... this thing is happening every day. It's a usual thing."
Co-founder of the English Language Students Union Fiachra Ó Luain said the limited number of hours of work permitted on the visa means many immigrants have to resort to delivering food.
"The big matter is the EU Platform Work Directive ... they will be deciding what will be the final terms and references of the platform directive and this will govern every future work relationship for anyone who is employed through an app," he said.
"There are a few different problems and some of them can be solved with increased visibility, the other one is a cultural change.
"Very often, unfortunately, when these workers do go to complain about theft or any sort of violence against them, they feel that their concerns aren't taken seriously."
Deliveroo uses a mobile security app called Flare, which is available to all riders in Ireland. It monitors rider responses to a sensor and makes immediate contact on behalf of a rider in case of an emergency.
The app aims to "assist however it can" if a rider makes a report to the police, and all riders are automatically insured for free.
Just Eat has a similar online tool – and the app helps couriers who need assistance on a live order to contact their team via a chat function, including if they feel unsafe.
You can listen back here: