Hundreds of Sheffield taxi drivers and hotel staff given training to spot signs of child grooming

Hundreds of Sheffield taxi drivers and hotel staff have been trained to spot the signs of children being groomed for crime and sexual exploitation.

Wednesday, 8th January 2020, 11:22 am

Bespoke training was given to 1,167 people last year, the majority of whom were taxi drivers, who have to attend as part of their licence conditions, and hotel employees in areas where there had been problems.

Sheffield Safeguarding Children Board said people had responded well and were grateful for the training.

The board’s annual report for 2018/19 says overall Sheffield is a safe city for young people.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The council have relaxed regulations on tinted glass in taxis.

“There is evidence to suggest that licensed premises in the city are overall sustaining good safeguarding standards, making safer environments for children and young people.

“We have seen a reduction in the number of licence reviews and the city has again received awards in the Best Bar None and Purple Flag schemes, recognising Sheffield as a safer city. The training and support we provided to licensed operators contributed to these schemes.”

Further training sessions will focus on gambling. The report adds: “Focus has been given to harmful gambling, children and adults at risk, and we have worked closely with a range of organisations contributing to local, regional and national work, developing good practice in response to harmful gambling.

“As problem gambling significantly impacts on mental health and is recognised as a hidden harm in families, this work promotes our objective for responding to mental health needs.

“However we have an ongoing challenge in engaging the children’s workforce to recognise the risk and impact of harmful gambling.”

There is also work going on to encourage sports venues and organisations to be more aware and welcoming to young people with autism.

An innovative Team Up! scheme with Sheffield Wednesday Football Club, the voluntary sector and other organisations promotes equality for spectators with hidden disabilities such as autism and mental health needs.

A young man with autistic traits undertook a secret shopper exercise at the club and gave feedback which will help plan future development of facilities at SWFC.