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With e-commerce activity expanding, industry needs background checks on delivery boys after Bengaluru incidents

With e-commerce activity expanding, the industry needs more delivery boys. But what is shocking is that no background checks are done and women, children and the aged can easily become targets of crim

Published: 24th January 2018 03:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th January 2018 10:16 AM   |  A+A-

The case involving the Swiggy delivery man behaving obscenely with a woman customer on Sunday afternoon in Baiyappanahalli has exposed how vulnerable women, elders and children are to criminals posing as delivery people. | Picture Courtesy: Facebook

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The case involving the Swiggy delivery man behaving obscenely with a woman customer on Sunday afternoon in Baiyappanahalli has exposed how vulnerable women, elders and children are to criminals posing as delivery people. This category of crime cannot be easily prevented as it can come to the doorsteps in the guise of delivery against orders placed by the customers themselves.

So what could be done to avoid such incidents? Is there a practical solution for this? Experts say ‘no’. Former Director General of Police D V Guruprasad told The New Indian Express that finding a practical solution to the problem is difficult.

“E-commerce industry is a big thing now and certainly it will have geographical expansions in the coming days. As the industry grows, we will see more such cases. The demand for delivery boys in the industry is huge, but where is the supply? The only requisite for such companies is that the delivery boy should have a two-wheeler and he will get the job. These companies do not bother to get a background verification done from the police as it takes time.”

He opines that background verification is also not that easy as people from all parts of the country work in such companies. “Most of the delivery boys are uneducated and go to metro cities in search of jobs. They may be from Hubballi-Dharwad of our state or from some state in North India. Now, if the company asks the police for background checks of the candidates, that will take at least a month to complete. There are chances that the local police would not even get a reply if they need it from their counterparts in other states. Besides, the companies are not ready to wait such a long time.”

He added that companies share equal responsibility if its employee commits or attempts a crime. “Hence, it is their responsibility to get background checks done. There are so many private companies to do that job. Even in countries like the US, background checks are conducted by private companies. It also takes the burden off the police. Considering all these factors, the customers, who order online, must be cautious while receiving the delivery. That is the only practical solution as of now,” Guruprasad added.

A senior officer in the crime branch told The New Indian Express, “Generally, the BBMP issues trade licences to run such delivery service agencies. There should be norms like what kind of employees should be hired and procedures to be followed to get the licences. If anything goes wrong, the agency or the company is also equally responsible.”

He added: “There is no system to monitor those offenders as they often keep changing their job profiles. They work as delivery boys for a few days and then join as daily wagers in some other firm. So, a single window system should be set up to keep an eye on an employee and employer to avoid hiring any person who has a criminal background.”

The Single Window

Background verification is believed to be easier if the Crime and Criminal
Tracking Networks and Systems, a Union government’s initiative, comes into usage. The system makes the job of the police easy as they can access details of all criminals in the country in a single window. But this has been in the news for more than a decade now but is yet to be implemented effectively. Former DGP Guruprasad said it would be better if details of Aadhaar are also linked with it, as it will make the job easier with fingerprints and iris in the database.

Past Incidents

July 2016

JP Nagar police arrested Shreyas, a delivery boy of an online food service provider, for outraging the modesty of a woman and also under Sections of the IT Act. He had uploaded a client’s phone number on social media as an escort service following a trivial row. The woman had placed an online order for a pizza (on June 8) for home delivery and later cancelled the order. There was a verbal duel between them and later Shreyas shared her number on social media stating that she is an escort. It turned nightmarish for the woman as she started receiving calls.

January 2017

Banaswadi police
arrested a gang of four, including three food delivery boys, for molesting a woman after groping her after  New Year’s celebration. The accused were Aiyappa alias Nitish Kumar (19), Leno alias Lenin Patrick (20), Sudhesh alias Sudhi (20) and Somashekar alias Chinni (24), all residents of Kammanahalli. CCTV footages gathered from the area captured the incident and police took up a suo motu case to nab the gang.

June 2017

A Chinese woman was molested by a delivery boy when she was alone at her home in Whitefield. The accused had ventured into her bedroom and tried stripping her. She fought back and managed to push him out of the house. She immediately called her husband and narrated the incident after which the police was alerted.

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