CABBIES in Stratford district will be made to undergo training to spot signs of potential child sexual exploitation (CSE) before being allowed behind the wheel.
Members of Stratford District Council’s Cabinet this week agreed to implement mandatory training as part of a wider scheme to safeguard passengers.
It means all existing licensed hackney carriage and private hire drivers operating in the area will have to complete the course before the end of this year.
And new drivers applying for a licence from January 2017 will not be granted one until they have undertaken the course.
Barnardos currently offers the CSE course free-of-charge to existing licensed taxi drivers as part of its ‘Something’s Not Right’ campaign.
Around 90 drivers – just under half of all licensed cabbies in the district – have signed up to take part in one of the charity’s four courses being held next month.
During the sessions, they will be taught exactly what child sexual exploitation is, signs indicating a young person is being exploited, how it affects them as drivers and what they can do to prevent it occurring.
Drivers will also learn about laws on human trafficking, safeguarding children and vulnerable people, making referrals and signposting people to relevant agencies.
Warwick District Council was the first authority in the county to agree the move back in April.