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New child protection training for taxi drivers

Published Wednesday 29 November 2017

Harborough District Council is to introduce training to help taxi drivers to identify potential young people at risk of harm and to keep safeguarding of children at the front of their minds.

Harborough District Council’s regulatory committee made the decision on 28 November 2017.

Training to identify signs of child sexual exploitation will be provided by Harborough District Council, from 1 April 2018, to existing taxi / private hire driver licence holders for free if they complete it before 31 March 2019. New applicants for taxi licences will be required to complete the training within three months of the licence being issued.

An independent inquiry following the recent child sexual exploitation cases in Rotherham in South Yorkshire identified a number of missed opportunities for the responsible authorities in relation to the licensing of taxi drivers/ private hire vehicle drivers and operators, which led to the increased potential of harm for vulnerable children and young people. 

This training aims to provide additional safety to the taxi trade, members of the travelling public and to fulfil the council’s safeguarding duty.

Taxi / private hire drivers who do not take the training risk having their licence suspended.

Councillor Jonathan Bateman, Harborough District Council’s portfolio holder for environment and regulatory services said: “Child sexual exploitation is largely a hidden crime and raising awareness of this type of abuse is crucial to preventing it and stopping it early if it does happen. We have a duty to help safeguard against these horrific crimes ever happening again.”

Taxi / private hire drivers will be notified of the training by the Council before it comes into force on 1 April 2018.