Couriers rally against police harassment after Dalston raids – Freedom News

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Crowds turned out in support of the protest in Hackney, London, yesterday which saw couriers calling on Met Police to rethink their aggressive over-policing strategy.

The event came following a confrontation on May 14 in which police were chased out of Dalston by locals after they began checking the couriers’ immigration status saying they were cracking down on “moped-related crimes”. The incident received national coverage after police called more than 150 officers who drove into the crowd, arresting and attacking people in the street.

Tensions have escalated for couriers in Britain’s major cities over the past two years as the rapid enforcement of food delivery has led to a huge increase in the number of precariously employed couriers driving for companies like Uber Eats and Deliveroo. With few on-street facilities or waiting points, drivers often have to try to stay out of the way as best they can between jobs, where they are then accused of loitering.

Various London councils, including Hackney, have not only failed to provide safe waiting spaces but also failed to do enough to deter the Met from carrying out punitive crackdowns, according to couriers. Drivers had already protested against the exact same issue in January, only to be targeted again a few days later.

A courier said before the protest:

“I’m afraid to go to work because I’m treated like a criminal. When we are victims of crime, such as vehicle theft or workplace violence, the police ignore us. But when we try to earn an honest living, we are harassed just to take orders and do our job. It is very frightening to see the recent police violence towards runners and members of the public who defend our rights. As key workers, we need the police to protect us, not to victimize us. »

Couriers themselves are highly vulnerable to vehicle theft and street harassment – ​​two in three having been assaulted at work.

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