Taxis drive forward in fight to stamp out CSE
Drivers complete new training to ‘keep communities safe’
Almost 700 taxi drivers and private hire licence holders in Calderdale have now received training on spotting and reporting signs of child sexual exploitation (CSE), following the completion of courses over the past three months.
Over 26 training sessions, organised by the local council’s Licensing team, have been delivered already, with at least a further four in the pipeline.
The compulsory training was introduced in May this year on the recommendation of its Licensing and Regulatory Committee, meaning all drivers, who currently hold a licence in Calderdale, are required to attend the training.
New applicants must also successfully complete the course before their licence is issued.
The Halifax Taxi Owners Association and the Private Hire Association have worked with Calderdale Council and West Yorkshire Police to plan the training, which is designed to improve customer service and protect members of the public and drivers.
Deputy Leader of Calderdale Council, Cllr Barry Collins said: “Taxi drivers spend their working days travelling around our towns.
“It’s vital that if they ever see anything which concerns them, whether it’s a child or an adult who seems to need help, they know what to do.
“Thanks to this training, if they see something which makes them uneasy, they will know how to report it, helping us to keep our communities safe.”
The four hour sessions cover the key areas of responsibility for licensed drivers. The syllabus includes protecting children from CSE; domestic abuse; disability and access for all; keeping safe and reporting incidents; maintaining a safe vehicle and being an ambassador for Calderdale.
The sessions are delivered by West Yorkshire Police, Calderdale Council, the Calderdale Safeguarding Children Board and Nadeem Mir, the former Chief Inspector for Greater Manchester Police.
All existing holders of private hire, hackney carriage or dual badge licences have passed a knowledge test, which examines their understanding of the licence conditions and their geographical knowledge of the area. They are now required to complete the new course to retain their licence.
Once existing licence holders have successfully completed the course they will graduate and receive an attendance certificate at a civic reception at the Victoria Theatre on 21st October 2015.
Licence holders will need to complete the free course every three years before their licence can be renewed.