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Taxi drivers become 'eyes and ears' against exploitation

Published: Wednesday, 21 June, 2017

Taxi and private hire drivers in the Stroud district are having free safeguarding training sessions to help them identify the signs that a young or vulnerable person is at risk of exploitation.

Councillor Steve Robinson, chair of Stroud District Council’s community services and licensing committee, said:

“Taxi drivers are ideally placed to be the `eyes and ears’ in the fight to protect our young people against exploitation. They are in a privileged position of knowing a lot about the communities that they work in and sometimes they are witness to issues relating to vulnerable children and adults. With this training they’re able to spot the signs and report any issues.”    

Rachel Andrew, the council’s principal licensing officer, added:

“We’ve been running these briefings for a few months  now with 125 of the district’s 200 drivers taking part so far. The drivers are shown what sort of signs to look out for and how to report it if they see something that gives them concern. By the end of July all of them will have received the training and we hope the district will be safer as a result.”

The safeguarding training is being delivered by the Gloucestershire Child Sexual Exploitation team on behalf of the council and is mandatory for all drivers licensed by the district’s licensing team.

Training sessions have been taking place since April with the remaining sessions taking place at Ebley Mill on 28 June, 6th July and 26th July.

Any taxi or private hire driver who still needs to book a place should call the licensing team on 01453 754440 or email licensing@stroud.gov.uk

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