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Superior safeguarding for district drivers

Author: Eleanor Roberts Published: 17th June 2017 11:31
Superior safeguarding for district driversSuperior safeguarding for district drivers

Taxi drivers from South Northamptonshire are contributing to making the district a safer place thanks to a safeguarding course run by South Northamptonshire Council (SNC) at The Forum in Towcester.

Over the past month 393 drivers attended the training which is intended to give them the confidence to report issues by making them more aware of the people who may be vulnerable.

Cllr Dermot Bambridge, SNC’s portfolio holder for environmental services, said: “Taxi drivers are well placed as the eyes and ears of a community to report potential safeguarding incidents, so it’s important that we provide the necessary training to allow them to have a greater understanding and awareness of what safeguarding is, as well as the steps to take in order to report it.”

By completing the course, drivers will be in a better position to spot signs that vulnerable people may be at risk and they will also receive clear guidance on what they can do if they have any concerns around the safety of their passengers.

Feedback from drivers has been very positive, with driver Ibrahim Ghasemi stating: “This safeguarding training has helped me to be aware of crimes in our society, not only as a taxi driver but also as a parent.”

Ishtiaq Siddiqui of Speedline Taxis also said: “The safeguarding course is a brilliant initiative introduced by the council.

“We want to reassure the general public that our Speedline taxi drivers are trained professionals.

“After completing this training course, we hope that if a taxi driver sees the signs of a vulnerable child or adult who is at risk of abuse, they can pass on valuable information to the relevant bodies and prevent them becoming a victim.”

SNC introduced a new taxi policy this year with the requirement that all licensed drivers need to complete the training. This will include drivers who already hold a licence with SNC.

New applicants will need to complete the course before a licence will be issued and the aim is to have all taxi and private hire drivers trained by the end of January 2018.

For further information on the new policy, please visit SNC’s website at www.southnorthants.gov.uk/828.htm or contact the Licensing Team at licensing@southnorthants.gov.uk or call 01327 322278.

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