Taxi drivers received training and advice on helping to keep borough residents safe as part of an initiative organised by the Rochdale Safer Communities Partnership.
Drivers and other taxi rank staff attended workshops at Rochdale Town Hall, where Chief Inspector Nadeem Mir, Martin Murphy of The Sunrise Team and Andrew Glover of Rochdale Borough Council’s Public Protection Service delivered talks and answered questions from attendees.
There was a particular focus on identifying victims of child sexual exploitation and informing drivers of the law in relation to fare evasion and hate crime.
Chief Inspector Nadeem Mir said: “We want our drivers to be proud of the service they provide to the community and, even though at times we can become complacent, we can guard ourselves against crime. Drivers must not tolerate hate crime against them and they should also remember that their conversations with passengers can help defuse difficult situations.”
Martin Murphy of The Sunrise Team said: “Our job is to keep people safe and we’re asking our drivers to be our eyes and ears. As ambassadors for our community drivers have a duty to report anything they witness that concerns them. Together we must learn to recognise who the victims of child sexual exploitation are and report it.”
The Sunrise Team is a specialist multi-agency team that aims to tackle sexual exploitaion and related harm in Rochdale borough. The Sunrise Team was launched in 2009 and brings together professionals from the police, children’s social care, sexual health and Early Break.