Eighteen taxi drivers attended a safeguarding course at West Devon Borough Council offices, to be trained about Child Sexual Exploitation and protecting vulnerable people.

This free training, held on 16 November, was commissioned by the Council as part of the Community Safety Partnership and the Council's ongoing commitment to safeguarding vulnerable people. The same session was also held at South Hams District Council.

The course is run at regular intervals throughout the year and has been identified as a valuable training opportunity in the South West. It allows drivers to spot the signs of CSE or vulnerable people at risk, how to report any concerns, and where to report them.

Community Safety Partnership Lead, Cllr Robin Musgrave said: "Taxi drivers play an important role in our community. Their service is valuable because of the relatively limited public transport facilities in our rural areas. Taxi drivers are also placed in a unique position every day because they engage with countless people and witness different kinds of interactions.

"It is important that licensed drivers get this sort of training to arm them with knowledge and the tools for safeguarding."

A local taxi driver who attended the training, said: "I'm pleased that I decided to attend this course. There are a lot of things that I wasn't aware of that are considered to be part of safeguarding."

Another driver added: "I know that I will be much more alert now, whenever I transport all my different clients. I'm very glad that I now know where to go for support and more information because of this training."

This course is one of many that take place around the country. It is designed to show the drivers what Child Sexual Exploitation is, the tactics that criminals use, how safeguarding can involve the taxi trade unknowingly in trafficking and how to report a concern.

The next course will be held in February 2018. If you are a licensed taxi driver and you would like to get involved, please email Licensing@swdevon.gov.uk to reserve a place.