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Taxi drivers receive crucial training from Craven District Council to help tackle child sexual exploitation

Dozens of taxi drivers from across Craven have taken part in a training course on professionalising the taxi and private hire trade.

The 3.5-hour course, run over two days, included safeguarding and child sexual exploitation training, as well as general support in improving the overall customer experience of using taxis and private hire vehicles.

A total of 93 drivers, more than half of all those licenced in Craven, took part in the course.

Gulfoam Ali of Station Taxis said: "This was one of the best courses I have attended, the course was very interesting and I myself learned a vast amount of information. I would recommend all taxi drivers to attend the course."

Councillor Simon Myers, chairman of Craven District Council's licensing committee, said: "This course aimed to support taxi drivers and give them an overview of the key responsibilities they have in relation to safeguarding and vulnerability, including disability, child sexual exploitation, customer care and professional standards.

"Taxi drivers are ambassadors for our community and it's crucial that they know how to keep themselves safe and report any incidents they witness. These drivers can be at the front line in terms of spotting serious problems such as domestic abuse and child abuse.

"The course was very well received by drivers and we are planning a further presentation at a later date."

Neighbourhood Area Inspector Paul Evans of Skipton Police, who attended the course, said: "We are working very closely with our partners at Craven District Council to raise awareness of safeguarding and vulnerability issues, especially around child exploitation, within Craven.

"Prevention and raising awareness of these issues is key to ensuring that the local community, especially children, are protected. The fact that local taxi drivers are receiving this type of training and are willing to work with us to keep people safe in Craven is fantastic. It sends a very clear message that the whole community in Craven is working together to keep people safe."