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Swindon taxi drivers set to undergo online safeguarding training

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Taxi drivers in Swindon will soon be required to complete an online safeguarding training course as a condition of their licensing.

Swindon Borough Council's head of regulatory services, Kate Bishop, proposed the change during a meeting with the authority's licensing panel, stating that it was in line with government advice regarding the protection of vulnerable individuals.

Currently, the council provides one page of safeguarding guidance in the driver's handbook, but it has now been deemed necessary to enforce compulsory training. The online course, priced at £36, will be mandatory for all new drivers and will be valid for the duration of their three-year licence. Upon licence renewal, drivers will need to complete the training again.

Approximately 800 to 900 licensed drivers in Swindon have not yet undergone the training. To address this, the council proposes that these drivers complete the course by the end of March 2024. Going forward, all drivers will need to renew their safeguarding training upon licence renewal.

During the discussion reported by Swindon Advertiser, committee member Fay Howard asked Ms Bishop if she herself had received the training, to which she confirmed that both she and the licensing manager had completed it. She explained that the course focuses on raising awareness of the signs of vulnerability and empowers drivers to address or report such concerns, including specific guidance on recognizing indicators of child sexual exploitation.

Committee chairman John Ballman praised the proposal, highlighting that the cost of the training equates to £12 per year or just 20p per week, deeming it a sensible investment in the drivers' businesses and the safety of the community as a whole.

By implementing these measures, Swindon Borough Council aims to enhance the safeguarding of vulnerable individuals and ensure that all taxi drivers are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to identify and address any potential risks or signs of exploitation.


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