Luton Borough Council is appealing to its hackney carriage and private hire drivers to attend its last free awareness course about child sexual exploitation (CSE) which will train them to spot the signs of CSE.
Just one training course is left and LBC states it is considering making the training mandatory for all licenced drivers in future and payment may be required.
The free CSE awareness training is taking place on Thursday 22 March at Stockwood Discovery Centre, London Road, Luton, LU1 4LX at 10am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm and is only available to taxi and private hire drivers licensed by Luton Council.
A council spokesman said: “This is the final training session we have planned. After this date the Council will be considering making the training mandatory for all licenced drivers in future and payment may be required.
“There are limited spaces so to book a place, contact licensing services on 01582 546040.”
The 90-minute course is conducted by Children and Young People First and will also provide taxi drivers with advice on how to safeguard their passengers and themselves as well as what they should do to report suspected abuse. They will also be given scenarios that they might find themselves in.
Around 1,000 drivers have voluntarily completed the course and have received a certificate and driver’s handbook which contains other useful health and safety advice.
Cllr Mahmood Hussain, portfolio holder for children and young people, said: “It’s important that we give our black cabs and private hire drivers the necessary skills to recognise child abuse and the confidence to act on what they have seen or heard. They are our eyes and ears on the roads and with their help we can protect vulnerable children and young people in Luton.
“I would urge drivers to take advantage of this free course as in the near future charges may apply.”