Taxi drivers given free safeguarding training to prevent child sexual exploitation in the city

We have held eight free awareness raising sessions for the city’s licensed taxi drivers so they know how to spot the signs of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE) and how and where to report cases.

Most licensing authorities are now either in the process, or will be shortly, of introducing compulsory safeguarding training for licensed drivers which will be charged to the driver. However, Brighton & Hove City Council has led the way by providing a limited period of training for free available to all licence holders. In total, 563 drivers attended voluntarily over two days.

Exploitation of children and vulnerable adults is a criminal offence and it can happen to any child, young person or vulnerable adult from any background. The process means victims often do not realise that they are being exploited and so it is vital that everyone takes responsibility for identifying people at risk. Reporting can help victims get support and be safeguarded and help bring the perpetrators to justice.

The council worked with the local taxi trade and community organisation YMCA Downslink Group, on the content for the CSE training course.

Chair of the council’s Licensing Committee, Councillor Jackie O’Quinn, said: “Taxi drivers are the eyes and ears of what is happening within our city. Exploitation can be hard to identify and therefore being aware of the signs and acting upon them early can prevent abuse happening or escalating. This course aims to equip the city’s drivers with the necessary skills so they can spot the signs and act quickly to report them. We are pleased to be able to offer this training for free so that all of the city’s licensed taxi drivers have the opportunity to attend.”