Family of Bolt driver killed by teenagers call for more to be done to protect gig economy workers

'He was the most beautiufl person': Gabriel with his sister Renata Bringye. Credit: ITV News London

The family of a taxi driver who was lured to his death by robbers two years ago have called for more safety measures for people who work in the gig economy. Gabriel Bringye, 37, who worked for vehicle hire firm Bolt, was stabbed to death after a group of teenagers made a 'trap booking' via the company's app in Tottenham on February 17 in 2021.

The app recorded him as stationary and unresponsive for six hours before any form of alarm was raised.

Following an Old Bailey trial last March, a 19-year-old, of Golders Green and an 18-year-old from Hemel Hempstead were cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter. Two boys aged 16 and a 17-year-old youth were cleared over the killing.

Renata Bringye and fiancee Mara Fazecas want to see changes made to improve drivers' safety. Credit: ITV News London

Two years on from his death, his sister Renata Bringye and fiancee Mara Fazecas are campaigning in his name for better safety features aimed at protecting drivers and couriers.

They tell ITV News London the approaching two-year anniversary, which will be marked by a candle-lit vigil in Tottenham, was "very painful". "It's very hard to go through this again and again," an emotional Ms Fazecas told ITV News London. Ms Bringye said: "After two years the pain is still the same. We were hoping that as the years pass, it will be more easy but no. it is still very painful... repeating the date is very painful."

Bolt have made changes to its app since Mr Bringye's death. Credit: ITV News London

Bolt have introduced several new measures since Mr Bringye's death including welfare checks on static vehicles, the ability for drivers to share live journey details with a third party and proactive 'unmatching' of drivers and passengers who have rated each other poorly, so they cannot be connected again. But Ms Bringye and Ms Fazecas told ITV News the changes do not go far enough.

Among the changes the company made is the introduction of an in-app SOS button which connects drivers directly to emergency series and Bolt's safety team.

But Ms Fazecas said: "That is the other big change that they made - that the driver can dial 999." "It's too small the changes that they make," she added.

Mr Bringye's family want to see CCTV in the cars, insurance for drivers and sick pay.

"We want the basic safety measures, what is normal," Ms Fazecas said. Ms Bringye said they will not "stop with this campaign until we see changes".

"We are doing in memory of my brother.

"If we don't do something, I feel like my brother died, and nobody cares." "He deserves justice, he deserves to be heard and not just forgotten," said Ms Fazecas.

Tributes to Gabriel Bringye. Credit: ITV News London

During the trial, jurors heard that Mr Bringye’s death had followed a series of robberies in the weeks before. On the day of the killing, the defendants went to Hendon where they stole a mobile phone. They then used it to order a car to return to Tottenham and summon their victim. The killing was not “by chance” but a consequence of a plan to rob a cab driver, it was claimed during the trial.

Bolt have met with Mr Bringye's famiy and are due to discuss the campaign further later this year.

Gareth Taylor, Bolt's Regional Manager for Western Europe said: "Bolt condemns violence of any form directed towards private hire drivers, who we believe have the right to earn a living without risk of harm, intimidation, coercion, or fear of death or injury.

"The death of Gabriel Bringye was a shocking and senseless tragedy and I have personally met with Gabriel's family to convey my condolences and discuss how Bolt can do better in future. We discussed a number of areas relating to the campaign and agreed to meet in the spring to update on these.

Gabriel Bringye, 37, who worked for vehicle hire firm Bolt, was fatally stabbed after he responded to a fake fare in Tottenham in 2021. Credit: ITV News London

"Since the incident we have put several new measures in place to support drivers including welfare checks on static vehicles; the ability for drivers to share live journey details with a third party and proactive 'unmatching' of drivers and passengers who have rated each other poorly, so they cannot be connected again.

"In January we launched a major upgrade to our ratings system where, in addition to seeing a passenger's rating, drivers can now also see the number of trips they have taken on Bolt so they can have greater confidence over their track record on the platform. "We continue to make significant increases in the size of our safety team, which places significant emphasis on permanently removing passengers with consistently poor feedback from drivers from using the platform. "Bolt constantly engages with drivers, passengers, wider industry stakeholders and law enforcement to improve safety features and tools that have a real impact in addressing driver safety. We are dedicated to making our platform as safe as possible for both drivers and passengers and we have a range of safety improvements planned over the coming year."

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The vigil on Friday evening is a chance for Mr Bringye's friends and family to gather and remember him. "We will light up a candle, we will share some food, to remember him, even if he is not with us anymore, he is still here," Ms Fazecas said as she touches her heart. Ms Bringye told ITV News London her brother was "the most beautiful person" who dreamed of starting a family with Mara.

"He loved Mara, he wanted to build a family, he wanted to have a child.

"He had lots of dreams, lots of hope - to build a family and future.

"And one day he just went to work and it was all finished. And for what? To steal a phone, to steal a car...for nothing. Ms Fazecas remembers her fiance as "funny and very kind".

"He was that kind of person who would put people before him. Sometimes, he left himself behind for others."