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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Delivery driver “sick of being anxious” over spate of motorcycle thefts in Headingley

A man who has worked as a delivery driver for the past five years is sick of always looking over his shoulder after having two of his work scooters stolen in Headingley.

A delivery driver from Leeds has said he is “sick of being anxious” after having two of his bikes stolen from Headingley in the past five years.

Nazmul Hasan, 34, has worked as a delivery driver around Hyde Park and Headingley since 2017. During this time, he has had two bikes go missing with one of them being found smashed up in a ditch and written off.

Mr Hasan relies on his job to provide for his wife and two young children. He alleges that motorcycle theft is notorious in the student-heavy area of Leeds.

A delivery driver from Leeds has said he is “sick of being anxious” after a spate of motorcycle theft in the area.

He doesn’t want to leave the sector and find another job despite his worries as it provides flexibility around childcare and running sports sessions for young people in the area during weekday evenings.

Mr Hasan, who will be returning to university soon to study electrical engineering, said that he knows around fifteen to twenty other drivers who have had their motorbikes or mopeds stolen and that many of the drivers are leaving the industry due to the risk involved.

A Freedom of Information (FoI) request published by West Yorkshire Police (WYP) last year shows that between August 2020 and July 2021, there were 448 reported incidents of motorcycle thefts, including motorbikes, mopeds, quad bikes and trail bikes. WYP data shows that there were 598 motorcycle thefts in 2018 and 630 in 2019.

Mr Hasan alleges that the thieves are riding around Headingley with the stolen bikes using fake number plates.

The father-of-two also says that the “police are not doing enough” to tackle the crime and that “he has not seen any road police in the area for one month.”

Mr Hasan, said: “I am a food delivery driver around Hyde Park and Headingley. The thieves have stolen a couple of my friend’s bikes. I believe I saw one of the kids riding around on my friend’s 2020 model bike with a 2005 number plate.

“They tried attacking one of my friends, as well. They know we lock our bikes up, so they come with big bolt cutters, even in broad daylight.

Mr Hasan alleges that the thieves are riding around Headingley with the stolen bikes.

“I believe the young boys were following me, so I sent my dashcam footage to the police and they said they would look into it, but I have not heard anything back yet. The police don’t bother, they just leave them to go.”

He added: “I am the oldest driver in Leeds, most of the riders don’t have dashcams but I do because I have learnt from my experience that it is important to have one. Too many of my friends have given up and left their jobs. It is so frustrating, the thieves are coming and stealing our bikes.

“I’ve had two scooters stolen and the police didn’t do anything about it. One of my bikes was found but it was smashed and broken, I had to pay around £160 of my own money to dispose of it.”

Mr Hasan says the average delivery scooter costs £3000 on average, but it is “not just about the money”. He added: “It takes time to purchase a bike, set up the insurance, and make sure that everything is right with the bike. It is heartbreaking; all of the time you are just looking in your rear-view mirror to make sure that somebody is not following you. It is so stressful, and I am sick of being anxious all the time.

“Over the past five years, I’ve had so many sleepless nights over it. When my first bike went missing, I built a garage outside my apartment which cost £1500. I need the flexibility of this job as my wife works, I need to look after my kids and have time to train young children in kids.”

Asian Standard has reached out to West Yorkshire Police for a comment. Check back regularly for updates.

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