With the role of the taxi driver being of great responsibility, passengers need to feel safe when grabbing a cab. Of late, the increase in taxi-driver related sexual crimes had encouraged the industry to sit up, with the drivers of Liverpool now being trained to be the ‘eyes and ears’ of the city.
Councillor Christine Banks, chair of the Licensing Committee, said:
“Child sexual exploitation is an extremely important issue and one which we want to make every effort to prevent.
“Taxi drivers are among those workers who have a key role in protecting young people- as the report to the committee said they can be the “eyes and ears” in spotting such activity.
With drivers being very much amongst the action of the city, Liverpool cabbies are not being asked to spy or extras information through unlawful means but just be aware of conversations and actions made by passengers, working closely with authorities to ensure taxi businesses work as a local support network.
“They can, for example, notice young people being taken to different locations around the city and, while we are not asking them to eavesdrop on passengers, they could hear conversations which may indicate that a child is being exploited’ he continued.
With nearly 5,000 Liverpool taxi and hackney carriage drivers expected to receive training this coming year, other areas will no doubt adopt this regime. Taking the training very seriously, drivers will have to produce a certificate to prove they have completed the training, with failure to produce the document preventing the issue of an individual’s licence.
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