Travelling daily around our district, offers our taxi drivers the opportunity to become the eyes and ears of our community. Drivers are in a privileged position of knowing a lot about the communities in which they operate and sometimes this may also include issues relating to vulnerable children and adults.
South Hams District Council is now offering all licensed Taxi Drivers another opportunity to take part in a training course aimed at raising awareness of issues relating to Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and vulnerable adults. With this knowledge at their disposal our taxi drivers could help make our communities safer.
The courses have been commissioned by South Hams District Council, following the success of previous safeguarding courses held at the beginning of the year, where a total of 51 licensed drivers attended the course.
Executive Portfolio Holder for Licensing, Cllr Hilary Bastone, said: “It is very important that we continue to provide training for those who are closely linked to vulnerable groups within our communities. The previous course was a resounding success and we want to continue to build upon that to keep our residents safe.”
This course, one of many nationally, comes after information from Devon and Cornwall Police identified an awareness opportunity in the South West.
Comments from taxi drivers who attended the previous courses included: “This course should be made compulsory to all licensed drivers, because I am surprised by how widespread this is in the West Country.” Another driver added: “I am shocked at my potential responsibility for being involved in people trafficking.”
Following the training, there have been at least 3 reports made to various Safeguarding agencies by taxi drivers as a direct result of the training.
The workshop to be held at South Hams District Council offices at Follaton House, Totnes, have been designed and developed to give all drivers an overview of how safeguarding can involve the taxi trades; what child sexual exploitation is; an insight into the trends used by the perpetrators and to give drivers the knowledge and confidence to report concerns.
If you are a licensed taxi driver and you would like to get involved, the next training session in Totnes, is next Tuesday 14 June, between 10 and 11:30 a.m.
Another session will be held at West Devon Borough Council’s, Kilworthy Park offices in Tavistock on Thursday 23 June in our West Devon office, if this session is preferable to you.
To reserve a place on a workshop please call 01803 861336 or email Louisa.Daley@swdevon.gov.uk and request one of the dates and times listed.
If you “see something, say something”.