Thomas Bridge 11 August 2015

Taxi drivers become council’s ‘eyes and ears’ on child sexual exploitation

Taxi drivers have been given a safeguarding handbook to help them act as a city’s ‘eyes and ears’ on issues including child sexual exploitation.

Manchester City Council has given documents to the region’s 6,000 drivers detailing how they can spot and respond to problems including terrorism, human trafficking, domestic abuse and hate crime.

It provides examples of suspicious behaviour to look out for and how to deal with concerning packages.

Practical tips on road etiquette and disability support are also included in the handbook, which has been drawn up with Greater Manchester Police and bodies representing hackney carriage and private hire drivers.

Cllr Nigel Murphy, Manchester City Council’s executive member for neighbourhoods, said: ‘We’re working closely with the police to make sure our city is as safe a place as possible, and having a well-informed team of taxi drivers, who are out and about all the time, can only help us achieve that aim.

‘Thousands of drivers work across our city at all hours of the day and night, and some of them may occasionally see things which give them cause for concern. This handbook is about making sure they’ve got the information they need so they know when to report something, and to make it as easy as possible for them to do should they need to do so.’

Chief inspector Laura Marler of Greater Manchester Police said: ‘The handbook has been developed to raise awareness about reporting crime and is an opportunity to encourage drivers who are the eyes and ears of our community to report intelligence and any suspicious activity to police.’

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