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New training course helps Poole taxi drivers protect the town's most vulnerable people

Taxi and private hire car drivers licenced by the Borough of Poole are set to benefit from a new training course to help protect the most vulnerable people within the local community. 

This mandatory training course covers safeguarding, disability awareness and how to support people with dementia. It also covers domestic abuse, mental health, child sexual exploitation, human trafficking and modern slavery. As well as spotting the signs, the course provides details on how to report information. 

Councillor John Rampton, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Licensing, Borough of Poole, said: “Taxi drivers are the eyes and ears in our town and as such may spot behaviour or patterns that need to be reported to the authorities. As well as covering safeguarding, the training also deals with a range of conditions and disabilities that passengers may have and how drivers can recognise and deal with these. This will result in an improved taxi and private hire service for everyone in Poole.” 

Rhianon Greenslade, Sexual Violence Prevention Officer, Safer Poole Partnership, added: "Taxi drivers could provide that missing jigsaw piece of information that the Police or social care teams need to take action. We know that taxi drivers witness various incidents that may appear concerning, so by working together we can safeguard those most at risk in our community."

All new taxi and private hire drivers will be required to successfully undertake the training course before being granted a licence. There is also a programme to ensure all existing drivers will have received the training by 1 April 2018 and for the training to be repeated every 3 years.  The course costs £20 per person and taxi drivers are able to choose a date and book a slot on line via www.poole.gov.uk