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Cabbies Approve Safeguard Training

Drivers attend course run by social services

Cabbies have given the green light to a free training session to help them play a part in safeguarding vulnerable people in Swansea.

202 drivers have attended the course run by specialist social services staff from Swansea Council so far.

And many of those who have now been trained-up so they know what to do if they are worried about the safety of a child or a vulnerable adult say the course was invaluable.

Taxi driver Amy Ward said: "It really opened my eyes and I thought it was very important.

"It's a shame that these things are happening but it shows you what to look out for. Some drivers I have spoken to said they do not have time to attend the course but I've said to them it could be your daughter, son or sister that needs help."

Fellow driver Nigel Lucas added: "I think every driver should do it to get the message out there. I'm glad I went."

Swansea Council is aiming to provide the free-of-charge 90-minute sessions to all 1,100 cabbies operating in the city over the coming months.

More than 5,000 of the council's own employees - from plumbers and carpenters to accountants and call-centre operators - have also undergone training.
The council will also be looking to extend the offer of training to other key groups of workers in the future.

Jane Harries, from the council's Housing and Public Protection Service said: "We are very pleased with the feedback we have had so far from the drivers who have attended and we are grateful that they took the time and effort to attend.

"Swansea Council believes safeguarding the vulnerable in our communities should be everyone's top priority and taxi drivers can play an important role because they see a lot going on from behind the wheel of their vehicles.

"Now they'll know what to do if anything they see or hear gives them cause for concern.

"The UK Government is considering introducing mandatory safeguarding training for all taxi drivers but we are keen to stress these sessions are completely voluntary and free.

Swansea Council has set up dedicated pages on its website offering members of the public information and downloadable leaflets about safeguarding adults and children. These can be found at http://www.swansea.gov.uk/safeguardingadults or www.swansea.gov.uk/safeguardingchildren

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