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Police launch operation to raise awareness of child criminal exploitation

Crime / Sat 20th Jan 2024 at 07:15am

POLICE officers have spoken to more than 100 taxi drivers as part of work to protect children from criminal exploitation.

On Saturday (13 January), 106 taxis, Ubers, and private hire vehicles were stopped at Stansted Airport and provided information from the Children’s Society.

The information from this operation is fed into the Home Office and will help produce a national programme to ensure taxi drivers receive vulnerability and exploitation training.

Officers identified that around a third of the drivers they spoke to had not had any form of child criminal exploitation or vulnerability training.

One driver was deal with for not having any insurance.

Superintendent Phil Stinger said: “Protecting children from being targeted and exploited by criminals, preying on their vulnerabilities, is one of our key priorities.

“But it’s not something we can do alone. We work with a range of partners, agencies and other organisations to help identify where a child may be being exploited and in danger.

“And taxi drivers can play a really valuable role in this. They come into contact with a huge number of people every day so can be really effective in recognising behaviour they don’t think is right.

“So it’s really important we engage with them and make them aware of signs a child’s being exploited

Supt Stinger added: “I want to thank Stansted Airport for their support in this work.

“This is not stand-alone activity and not work which is reserved solely around the airport. We’ll be carrying out similar activity in different parts of the county in coming months.”

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