Every driver licensed by North Tyneside Council knows how to help safeguard young and vulnerable people.
That’s because all Hackney carriage and private hire drivers licensed by the local authority must undergo Child Sexual Exploitation Training. A total of 1,280 drivers have completed the training.
Taxi licensing is a service delivered for North Tyneside Council by its partner Capita.
Cllr John Harrison, for Housing and Transport, said: “This is reassuring news for those who use licensed vehicles in North Tyneside.
“Drivers can play an important role in helping to safeguard vulnerable people as they may see, hear or recognise situations or behaviour that may be of concern.
“It’s why we’ve ensured licensed drivers undergo awareness training to help in the prevention of sexual exploitation and know how to report it.”
The CSE training for existing drivers began in September 2015. Twenty-six face-to-face training sessions were offered and from September 2017, online training was also made available.
All new licence applicants are required to complete the training as part of the application process otherwise a licence will not be issued. Six drivers have had their licences suspended until they complete the training and three drivers have had their licences revoked for not completing the training.
An e-learning programme has been developed specifically for licensed drivers to provide the knowledge and understanding about safeguarding concerns and child sexual exploitation. The training recognises that licensed drivers have a key role to play in protecting young and vulnerable people.
The programme continually assesses the learner throughout the training to make sure they have an understanding of the information that is provided.