Passengers using taxi’s licensed by Bolsover and North East Derbyshire District Councils can be safe in the knowledge that all their drivers must now undertake mandatory safeguarding training.
The training is to improve public safety and identify potential risks to vulnerable adults and children. The training covers the following key areas:
- Understanding the need to protect vulnerable adults, young people and children
- Identifying possible victims of abuse and exploitation by understanding indicators of risk
- Identifying sources of advice and how to report concerns
- Understanding responsibilities in relation to personal safety and security
Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Street services, Councillor Brian-Murray-Carr said, “Drivers need to command the highest level of confidence before they transport passengers – especially those who may be vulnerable. It is essential that we take seriously our responsibility to determine whether someone is a ‘fit and proper’ person to hold a licence.”
In addition, Councillor Michael Gordon, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Licensing at North East Derbyshire District Council said, “Everyone is becoming aware of the well-publicised issues relating to Child Sexual Exploitation. These are awful crimes, and we have a duty to assist the Taxi and Private Hire Trade and the public in tackling this issue and to protect those who are vulnerable. We need the help of taxi and private hire drivers and operators to identify those who commit these crimes and to identify vulnerable people who are at risk.”
The decision to introduce the training was made following the publication of the Jay report into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham and the subsequent Casey report into Rotherham Council’s exercise of its functions on governance, children and young people, and taxi and private hire licensing.
Both reports indicated that licensed vehicles played a prominent role in the issues in Rotherham. As a key element of the local transport system, taxi and private hire drivers are well placed to identify vulnerable people who may need support.
The feedback received from the taxi trade so far has been overwhelmingly positive.
A taxi driver attending one of the sessions, said, “I welcome this training which will help me to identify signs that someone may be vulnerable and in need of help.”