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Cambridge taxi drivers to undergo training to make the city safer

By Ben Comber

14 07 16 General views, locations, around Cambridge, Taxi in Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell
14 07 16 General views, locations, around Cambridge, Taxi in Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell

News comes after councillor urges residents to report taxi drivers breaking speed limits.

By the end of the sessions, participants will be able to:

Understand what is meant by safeguarding;

Recognise what makes an individual vulnerable;

Identify major signs and indicators of abuse

Know how to report safeguarding concerns and where to get advice;

Understand how to keep themselves and the public, including children and adults at risk, safe;

Provide a safe and suitable service to vulnerable passengers; and

Protect themselves as a licence holder and demonstrate due diligence;

Describe key aspects of good customer service;

Recognise differing customer needs.

In an effort to help make the city a safer place for residents and visitors, Cambridge City Council are providing madatory training for all licensed taxi drivers in the city on Friday, January 20.

The courses will provide drivers with the information and skills they need to recognise their responsibilities, offering clear guidance on what they can do if they have concerns about the safety and welfare of individuals they encounter in the course of their work.

All existing and new hackney carriage and private hire drivers, plus taxi proprietors and operators are now required to take the training every three years, to ensure they understand the principles and are kept up to date on any changes.

Cllr Gerri Bird, chair of the licensing committee, said: “Taxi drivers provide an essential service for residents and visitors, and they can also play a vital role as the ‘eyes and ears’ of the community, since they encounter so many different people in their work.”

“We are sure this training will enable the city’s taxi drivers to provide an even better service to their customers, and to identify people who may be at risk from harm and get them the help they need.

“The safeguarding of children, young people and vulnerable adults is a council priority, and I am pleased that our colleagues in the taxi trade will now be able to play an increased part in helping us tackle this issue.”

Topics covered by the half-day courses include, protection of children and adults at risk, dementia awareness, accessibility issues, visible and non-visible disabilities, and principles of good customer service.

This comes after Cambridge city council mayor Jeremy Benstead urged residents to report irresponsible taxi drivers at a community meeting last week.

At a meeting of the east area committee residents raised concerns that 20 mile per hour speed limits were not being adhered to by professional drivers.

Cllr Jeremy Benstead said that is Cambridge city there are roughly 330 hackney carriages, and about the same number of private hire vehicles and South Cambridgeshire, which surrounds us ‘like we’re the hole in a polo mint’ has 700 private hire vehicles, and all of them operate in the city.

“If you see a taxi, whether it’s, South Cambs, East Cambs, Cambridge city, private hire, or a hackney carriage and it’s doing something it shouldn’t be doing, take their details,” he said.

“Trust me the city council officers will take it seriously.

“Three strikes and they’re pulled up in front of the committee and if they’re lucky I won’t be sitting on the committee.”


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