Published: Friday, 25th Oct 2019

Private hire and Hackney Carriage drivers across Bolton will be trained to spot the signs of abuse and keep vulnerable passengers safe.

Taxi courseTrust2Ride is a CPD accredited training course that has been designed specifically to equip taxi drivers with the necessary tools to respond when they suspect a passenger may be at risk.

The first cohort will take the new course next month, with all existing drivers in Bolton entitled to free training if they sign up before June 2020.

Trust2Ride uses case studies to highlight the signs that drivers should look out for when transporting people around.

The course, created and delivered by Blackburn based safeguarding organisation Personnel Checks, will cover a wide range of topics including:

  • Child sexual exploitation
  • Human trafficking
  • Recognising indicators of concern and types of abuse
  • Driver and passenger safety
  • Conducting best safeguarding practice
  • Disability awareness training

The training scheme has been used in other areas and Bolton Council eventually aims to make the training mandatory for all new and existing drivers.

I’m delighted that many drivers have already signed up for the course.

Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member for Environmental Regulatory Services, Cllr Anne Galloway, said:

“Taxi drivers are uniquely placed to spot the early warning signs of abuse and we want to work in partnership with them to ensure vulnerable people get the support they need.

“The training helps drivers understand what to do if they suspect a passenger may be at risk and how to alert the appropriate authorities.

“I’m delighted that many drivers have already signed up for the course and we look forward to welcoming all our existing drivers to a free training session between now and June.”

A spokesperson for Bolton Private Hire Association said:

“We are happy to take part in this training, it will give the public extra reassurance that our drivers are professional and fully able to support our passengers.

“We see people from all walks of life, all ages and all ethnicities and we take our responsibility to the members of the public that we carry very seriously.”

A spokesperson for Bolton Taxi Association said:

“I think the training is a very good thing, it is important for us all to get together to discuss these issues.

“Hackney Carriage operators are professional drivers and we are committed to looking after our customers.”