Taxi drivers to be trained in safeguarding young people
All taxi drivers in Liverpool are to undergo training to help them identify when children are being sexually exploited.
The Licensing Committee have agreed that all current licensed drivers should have training before their licence is renewed-licences are renewed every three years.
New drivers already have to take a safeguarding module as part of their training.
The training – a two hour course, free of charge to drivers – will be given by a licensing enforcement officer. The course has been developed in conjunction with the Safeguarding Board and Merseyside Police.
Councillor Christine Banks, chair of the Licensing Committee, said: “Child sexual exploitation is an extremely important issue and one which we want to make every effort to prevent.
“Taxi drivers are among those workers who have a key role in protecting young people- as the report to the committee said they can be the “eyes and ears” in spotting such activity.
“They can, for example notice young people being taken to different locations around the city and, while we are not asking them to eavesdrop on passengers, they could hear conversations which may indicate that a child is being exploited.
“The vast majority of taxi drivers would want to do all they can to protect young people and I am sure they will welcome this training which will better equip them to do so.”
It is anticipated that all of the city’s 4.700 licensed hackney and private hire drivers will have received training within a year.
They will be issued with a certificate on completion of the course which they will be required to produce when applying for their licence to be renewed.
Failure to produce a training certificate will generally prevent a licence being renewed although drivers will be given an opportunity to appear at the Taxi Driver Licensing Sub-committee to explain why they have not completed the training.