All taxi drivers and private hire licence holders in Calderdale are to get compulsory training on spotting and reporting signs of child sexual exploitation (CSE).
Calderdale Council took the decision on the recommendation of its Licensing and Regulatory Committee.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, Clr Marcus Thompson said: “Safeguarding people is everyone’s business. As taxi drivers spend their time travelling around our towns they are in a unique position to see and report anything they feel concerned about, whether that’s a child in the wrong company or an adult who seems vulnerable.
“This training is designed to make sure that our licence holders know how to report anything they see which makes them feel uneasy.”
The training will be provided by Calderdale Council for all drivers who currently hold a licence in Calderdale.
All 1,382 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 will now be required to complete the new course to retain their licence.
The course will be given by West Yorkshire Police, Calderdale Council, the Calderdale Safeguarding Children Board and Nadeem Mir, the former Chief Inspector for Greater Manchester Police.
Halifax Taxi Owners Association and the Private Hire Association have worked with Calderdale Council and West Yorkshire Police to plan the training.
The four hour session will cover the key areas of responsibility for licenced 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.
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 in October. The training will be free of charge for all current licence holders.
New applicants will be required to successfully complete the course before their licence is issued.
Licence holders will need to complete the course every three years before their licence can be renewed.