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Taxi drivers with 'safer' eyes and ears

Almost all taxi and private hire vehicle drivers in Boston borough now have a heightened sense of the issues which could identify young and vulnerable passengers at risk.

The borough council took the decision that it would be mandatory for all new and existing hackney carriage (taxi) and private hire vehicle drivers to undergo safeguarding training..

More than 200 have now completed the online training which will help alert them to some telltale indicators that all may not be well with their passengers. Many drivers take the same children on regular school runs and what they see or hear could lead to them safeguarding those at risk by reporting their concerns.

Many in occupations which bring them into regular contact with children now undertake safeguarding training developed by the Lincolnshire Safeguarding Children Board as a valuable backstop. Taxi drivers also take a child sexual exploitation e-learning course.

Fiona White, Boston Borough Council's Principal Licensing and Land Charges Officer, said: "Some drivers have said how useful they found the training, especially the awareness they now have of some ways to recognise safeguarding concerns they hadn't thought about before."

Just 27 drivers remain to complete the training.  The licences of those who have not completed the training have been suspended.  These licence suspensions, if not appealed, will take effect on Friday, October 20, meaning that these drivers will not be able to drive a licensed vehicle after that date until the training requirement has been met.