Councilman seeks stiffer penalties for robbing delivery drivers

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A member of the Providence City Council is making a push to protect delivery workers by increasing penalties for crimes committed against them.

“It’s my belief the city has a moral obligation to keep its residents safe, those who work here, and those who visit Providence,” said Councilman David Salvatore.

The amount of delivery drivers being robbed on the job is on the rise nationally, according to Salvatore, and several have been targeted locally as well.

Last week, a teenager delivering pizzas for Vasilios was attacked by three men at the Cathedral Square apartments and robbed for $21.

In October, a driver for Tomato City was hit in the face with a handgun and robbed of his valuables on Hendrick Street, located in Salvatore’s ward.

“The high volume of crimes related to food delivery drivers in 2016 was alarming,” the councilman added.

Salvatore believes the solution is tougher laws not just in Providence, but at the state level. He’s introduced a resolution that would ask the General Assembly to enact laws establishing protections for drivers and stiffening penalties for those who target them.

“I think we have to send a message to those committing these crimes that it is unacceptable and it will not be tolerated,” said Salvatore.

The Providence City Council is scheduled to vote on the resolution Thursday night. If it’s approved, the resolution would be sent to House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed, and the entire Providence delegation in the General Assembly.

Salvatore is hopeful the resolution will pass and said he looks forward to continuing the push on Smith Hill.

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