AFTER a man was attacked in Newport city centre on Thursday just for doing his job, others have come forward to share their own stories, and to say enough is enough.

On April 8 a man, who spoke to us but requested we kept his identity private, was approached by a group of males on High Street while he was on shift as a delivery rider.

CCTV footage taken by a trader opposite the location where the incident took place, shows two males [part of a wider group] approach the man from behind, shake his bag, touch his bike, and then push him into the bench behind, leading to the man almost falling to the ground.

The attackers then stayed and stared at the rider, who sensibly decided to cycle away.

The incident was reported to Gwent Police, who are investigating.

The victim said: “This isn’t the first time this has happened to me, it actually happens quite often in the city centre.

“Just days ago a group of youths threw sticks at me for no reason while I was working.

“I’m not hurt, but I am still shaken to be honest, it’s certainly not a nice thing to experience.”

Since the footage was shared widely on social media, people who worked as delivery riders, and those still delivering, have shared their own stories of suffering abuse.

Owain Ratcliffe, a delivery rider for two years in the city, and specifically in Pill, finished two years ago to care for his grandmother.

South Wales Argus: Owain RatcliffeOwain Ratcliffe

He says constant bullying, and even death threats, still affect him today. It has taken him two years to share the torment he experienced.


“I worked a lot on Corporation Road, where a lot of this tended to happen,” he explained. “I had threats, people pulling knives out on me – all sorts.

“A gang broke my bike at Moorland Park while I was in the middle of a delivery.

“It’s really impacted my confidence and I suffer with anxiety because of what happened.

“It’s given me a hell of a fear of going into the city centre.

“I’m terrified of groups of young males in puffer jackets now, for example. If they walk by me, I walk as far away as I can. That is what it does to you. I don’t trust any strangers anymore, particularly young boys.”

Why are delivery riders targeted so often?

South Wales Argus: Corporation Road in Newport, where Owain Ratcliffe says he often had problems with bulliesCorporation Road in Newport, where Owain Ratcliffe says he often had problems with bullies

“We’re easy targets,” he said. “We have food and money on us that isn’t ours.

“I often had to go back to the shop and explain where the food had gone, because someone was threatening me with a knife unless I handed over a pizza.”

The situation got so bad for Mr Ratcliffe that he sometimes travelled to jobs with a screwdriver up his sleeve. That way, he felt better protected against potential attackers.

“I feel shame that it reached that point, but I just felt helpless and thought I had to do something to feel safer,” he added.

“I didn’t feel that protection from the police. I don’t think the police do enough, even two years on – it might have even got worse.

“We clearly have a gang problem in Newport, and it’s ruining the city.

“To tell you the truth, I have a little one on the way and I’m reluctant to stay here. I don’t want them going through this.”

Gwent Police said they will not yet comment on the situation until they have spoken directly to the man who was attacked on Thursday.

Bjorn Richards, a delivery rider who works for Uber and JustEat in Newport, has taken a lead in organising meetings to discuss how delivery riders and the wider cycling community can find answers.

South Wales Argus: Bjorn RichardsBjorn Richards

He says he has been enthused about what he’s heard from Superintendent Mark Cleland – who has helped to set up a Newport Cycle Crime Reduction Partnership.

The programme is a multi-agency approach, including Gwent Police, Newport City Council, Welsh Cycling, Pobl and Uber Eats among others, aimed at making the streets safer for riders.

Mr Richards was in the process of planning a go-slow protest to raise awareness of the problems riders face, but said that has now been put on hold.

“I was very angry on Thursday after seeing the footage, and I still am,” Mr Richards explained. “But I’m happy with what I’ve heard from Mr Cleland and Gwent Police, and I feel it’s fair to give them some time to make a difference.

“The main thing is that we make progress quickly.

“I’ve spent six months delivering now and I’ve been threatened, had my bike stolen, and been abused countless times.

“Bike crime in Newport is astronomical, and it’s not just going to go away unless we make a stand.”

South Wales Argus: Matthew Brimble, who died on March 31Matthew Brimble, who died on March 31

Last week Bikmo’s heatmap showed Newport was the second worst place for bike thefts in Wales, only behind Cardiff.

And on March 31 Matthew Brimble was killed in a collision on Caerleon Road – “a loving caring son, and best friend”.

A 26-year-old man from Newport was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, and has now been released on bail.

“The amount of close calls I have every week is unbelievable,” Mr Richards added. “And that shouldn’t be happening.

“I go out fully lit up, and I’m an experienced rider, and yet I feel danger every day.

“We’ve had enough now. It’s time for change.”