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Taxi drivers trained to be aware of child sexual exploitation and human trafficking

Published: Thursday, 9th February 2017

Over 450 taxi drivers have taken part in training to help them spot the signs of sexual abuse of children, young people and vulnerable adults and understand the law relating to them.

The training of drivers from every firm in Pendle also included raising awareness about child sexual exploitation (CSE) and human trafficking.

“Pendle Council strengthened its Taxi Licensing Policy last year and agreed to provide free training in a bid to help protect vulnerable children and adults,” explained Councillor David Clegg.

“We’ve asked Pendle taxi drivers to be extra eyes and ears and trained them on how to report issues which concern them, added Councillor Clegg, who leads on taxi issues. 

“Understanding what they may encounter whilst working is essential to having a responsible taxi trade which operates for their community,” he stressed.

Pendle Council teamed up with Nelson and Colne College’s Lancashire Adult Learning to deliver the safeguarding training for 452 drivers between October 2016 and January 2017.

“We want all taxi drivers to be able to spot vital signs which might show that a child, young adult or adult is at risk,” said Councillor David Whipp who leads on community safety.

The training was attended by virtually all of Pendle’s taxi drivers.

The nine drivers who didn’t attend have had their licences suspended until they’ve attended.

Under Pendle’s new taxi policy, all drivers must also register with the Disclosure and Data Barring Service (DBS) to allow Pendle Council to check online for any convictions since their licence was granted.

“Pendle Council agreed these changes in policy to minimise the risk of child sexual exploitation in Pendle,” said Councillor Whipp.

“The new policy is  also designed to help safeguard anyone using a taxi, including the taxi drivers themselves,” he added.

Pendle Council staff and councillors have also been trained to understand and deal with child sexual exploitation and safeguarding issues.