Taxi drivers will help prevent exploitation of vulnerable people
Taxi and private hire drivers across the district are receiving free training sessions to help them identify the signs that a young or vulnerable person is at risk of exploitation.
The training is being delivered by the Gloucestershire Child Sexual Exploitation team on behalf of Forest of Dean District Council and is mandatory for all drivers licensed by the authority.
Cllr Chris McFarling, Forest of Dean District Council cabinet member for environment said: “Taxi drivers have an excellent opportunity to help prevent young people from being exploited. They know their communities well and, given this new training, they will be better able to spot and report issues which could put vulnerable children and adults at risk.”
His comments were echoed by Senior Licensing Officer, Michelle Bignell, who added: “We recently started these briefings for taxi drivers and they will continue through to mid-September. The drivers learn to look out for warning signals when they are out and about, and the reports they make should help to create a safer environment for vulnerable people across the district.
“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.”
Any taxi or private hire driver who still needs to book a place should call the licensing team on 01594 810000 or email ERS@2020partnership.uk