Safeguarding children and vulnerable people
Everyone is becoming aware of the well-publicised issues relating to Child Sexual Exploitation and Human Trafficking. Taxi drivers have an important role in tackling these issues, helping to protect those who are vulnerable or being exploited.
Please view the video below.
We recommend that you visit the Tackling Child Sexual Abuse page on the Kent Police website.
By following the safeguarding practices below, you can help to protect those who are vulnerable or being exploited.
- Check at the point of booking if there are any vulnerability issues. This will allow you to prepare for the journey in the right way.
- Ask the person booking if an escort for the vulnerable passenger is required and if they are providing one.
- Let your head office know (or keep a record) of the time you picked up the vulnerable passenger, the time and place you dropped them off and whether there was any incident or anything significant on the journey.
- If you refuse to take a passenger, inform someone that you can’t take them so they can deal with the person another way (e.g. hospital staff; family; security staff if a club/pub)
- Record incidents and refusals
- Be professional - try not to be over-friendly or talk about personal or intimate issues, don't exchange personal contact information such as passenger's telephone numbers or Facebook address.
- Avoid swearing or aggressive behaviour and do not touch passengers. Never accept an offer of a sexual favour instead of payment.
- Make sure you are wearing your licence badge.
- Sit lone passengers in the back unless otherwise agreed.
- Ask or explain to passengers if using a centralised locking system - don't just put it on without an explanation.
- Don’t assume that your passenger wants help, always ask.
- Never follow a passenger into the house unless previously agreed.
- Ask before making a journey shorter by going off the main roads/using isolated country roads, explain and give the passenger (or person booking) a choice of route.
- Never set off with a passenger without a specific destination address.
- Never double up on a booking – even if passengers are travelling in a similar direction, they may pose a threat or risk to the other passenger
- If you think the passenger is afraid, offer to ring head office to tell them you have a passenger with you and give the address and approximate time of arrival; this reassures the person they are safe and someone is monitoring the trip.
- If you are concerned about another driver’s conduct, report your concerns to your manager or to us.
- Organisations should have a lead member of staff for safeguarding; this person should be able to advise colleagues about how to manage vulnerable passengers and any incidents arising.
- Always keep a record either in your cab or at head office, of any incidents or situations you were not happy with – the record should include a description of what happened and what you did to keep yourself and your passenger safe.
Who to contact
If you are concerned that a child or an adult is being harmed or is in danger, please call one of the following numbers:
- If you believe someone is in immediate danger, call 999
- Kent Police on 101 and quote Operation Willow
- Kent Safeguarding Children Board on 03000 411111
- NSPCC on 0808 800 5000