Cab drivers have held a vigil outside the head offices of Bolt private car hire firm in Chiswick, after one of their drivers, Gabriel Bringye was stabbed to death.
Mr. Bringye was found stabbed in his car on 17 February. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the emergency services. A 15 year-old male has been arrested in connection with his death.
The vigil, which was held at the ‘Bolt Hub’ on Power Road in Chiswick, was organised by the App Drivers & Couriers Union as an act of remembrance of Mr. Bringye. There have been calls for Bolt to issue compensation to Mr. Bringye’s family.
Video footage of the gathering shows those who attended were initially refused entry to the premises by security staff. After a brief verbal confrontation, the group pushed through and held the vigil regardless.
A Bolt spokesperson told The Chiswick Calendar:
“We appreciate the importance of acknowledging a personal tragedy has taken place and that some would like to pay their respects to Gabriel Bringye.
“We’re in regular contact with the family of the driver. We have offered our condolences and are continuing to support them in any way we can during this difficult time. We have always allowed drivers and the public to leave their flowers and messages of support, with our own, at our Hub provided that the current UK Government COVID-19 guidance is adhered to.
“We’re continuing to highlight the in-app features available to drivers which help reinforce driver safety and protection on the relevant channels in light of this sad event.”
Video footage of the vigil is available Twitter, and can be seen below:
— ADCU (@ADCUnion) February 24, 2021
Assault of drivers “far too commonplace” – says union President
The App Drivers & Couriers Union have long been calling for greater protection of private hire drivers at work, and surveys carried out amongst drivers have shown that 50% of private hire drivers have suffered a physical assault and 85% have suffered hate crime during their time at work.
On the death of Mr. Bringye, Yaseen Aslam, the App Driver & Couriers Union President, said:
“My heart goes out to the family of Gabriel Bringye at this sad time. The assault and abuse of private hire drivers has become far too common place in London whilst Transport for London and the Metropolitan Police have done far too little to address the problem. We are now calling for a complete organisational overhaul at TfL and the Met Police Cab Enforcement Unit so that driver safety & security is appropriately prioritised.”
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