MORE than half of Craven's licensed taxi drivers have attended a course tackling issues including child sexual exploitation.

Some 93 drivers took part in the Craven District Council (CDC) initiative, which also included instruction in how to improve the overall customer experience.

Gulfoam Ali, of Station Taxis, said: “This was one of the best courses I have attended.

"It was very interesting and I learned a vast amount of information. I would recommend all taxi drivers to attend the course.”

CDC licensing committee chairman, Councillor Simon Myers, said: “This course aimed to support taxi drivers and give them an overview of the key responsibilities they have in relation to safeguarding and vulnerability, including disability, child sexual exploitation, customer care and professional standards.

“Taxi drivers are ambassadors for our community and it’s crucial they know how to keep themselves safe and report any incidents they witness. These drivers can be at the frontline in terms of spotting serious problems, such as domestic abuse and child abuse.

“The course was very well received by drivers and we are planning a further presentation at a later date.”

Neighbourhood Area Inspector, Paul Evans, of Skipton Police, who attended the course, said: “We are working very closely with our partners at the council to raise awareness of safeguarding and vulnerability issues, especially around child exploitation, within Craven.

“Prevention and raising awareness of these issues is key to ensuring the local community, especially children, are protected. The fact local taxi drivers are receiving this type of training and are willing to work with us to keep people safe in Craven is fantastic. It sends a very clear message that the whole community is working together to keep people safe.”