The Council is seeking views about proposed changes to current taxi and private hire licensing policy, in a consultation running from Monday 23 October to Monday 4 December. The proposed changes include the adoption of a new taxi and private hire convictions policy and mandatory Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) awareness training for all drivers.
All Surrey councils are revising their licensing policies for taxi and private hire to provide a more consistent approach to training and assessment of drivers across the county. This means someone who fails to get a licence in one part of Surrey, won’t be able to apply for a licence in another, as all councils will adopt the same approach.
In addition, when deciding whether an applicant is suitable to hold a licence, all councils will take into account criminal convictions, along with factors such as general character and behaviour, non-criminal behaviour and other police information.
The changes also include the introduction of mandatory safeguarding training for taxi drivers who want to get or keep a licence. This will help drivers be more aware of and help spot signs of Child Sexual Exploitation and inform them of the best ways to report concerns for children or vulnerable adults at risk.
Following the consultation, the results will be analysed and the final policies agreed in early 2018.
Councillor Barry Fairbank, Portfolio Holder for Environment, said: “We are consulting on some important changes to strengthen our licensing team’s approach to protecting children and vulnerable persons and look forward to hearing the views of residents, business and the taxi trade. These changes are the result of working closely with other districts and boroughs across Surrey to form a consistent approach to licensing and to train drivers to identify and report any signs of Child Sexual Exploitation. A consistent and robust approach is the best way to help prevent the sexual exploitation of children.”