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Taxi drivers across West Mercia are coming together in the fight against child sexual exploitation through awareness training funded by Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion.

The training, which is organised by Young Solutions, is part of a wider programme that is delivered to taxi drivers, hoteliers and owners of fast food outlets – as these can be some of the industries most likely to be used to carry out this vile crime. This week, to coincide with the National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day, the taxi driver training has taken place in Worcester city, Redditch and Kidderminster.

Other authorities within Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin already provide child sexual exploitation (CSE) training to taxi drivers, with it being a condition of their licence that they complete it.

Taxi drivers have been invited to listen to a short presentation that educates them on CSE, helps them to identify and recognise the signs, understand their responsibilities and how they can help protect children and young people at risk from CSE.

Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said: “Taxi drivers are in a perfect position in the community to spot signs when children and young people are being trafficked across West Mercia. A taxi driver who has been trained in CSE can become part of a network that can prevent this horrendous crime from happening.

“Most of those who attend this training aren’t always aware of what CSE is, so giving them this knowledge is invaluable. We aren’t asking people to play the role of the police, but these individuals could provide information, which they might feel is insignificant, but could lead to children being protected and offenders being brought to justice.”

Pete Sugg, Chief Officer for Young Solutions, said: “We’re so grateful to have the funding to allow us to deliver this training. It’s so important to educate people about where CSE may be happening, and it’s about making the groups we deliver the training to think of areas and places they might not have thought about before.”

Issued on: Friday 16 March 2018