Herts taxi drivers to learn about modern slavery after Letchworth training

Taxi drivers are often unknowingly used by criminals to move exploited people from location to locat

Taxi drivers are often unknowingly used by criminals to move exploited people from location to location. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

Licensing officers from taxi firms across Herts were invited to a training session in Letchworth to raise awareness of modern slavery and human trafficking.

Representatives from all 10 taxi licencing authorities in the county attended the workshop last week which was about recognising people who are being trafficked or controlled by other people.

This includes within drug trafficking networks, known as county lines, as well as child sexual exploitation and extremism.

Sue Darker, operations director in adult care service for Herts County Council, said: “Hertfordshire is generally a safe place to live and work but exploitation, trafficking and slavery does exist here.

“Taxi drivers are often unwittingly used by criminals to move exploited people from location to location.

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“They also see a broad cross-section of society through their work. “As a result of this event, licencing officers will better train and support taxi drivers in recognising the signs of exploitation.

“They, in turn, will be able to report their concerns to authorities, so that those exploited people can be saved from a life of abuse and mistreatment.”

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The event, held at Letchworth Library in Broadway, was hosted by the Hertfordshire Modern Slavery Partnership.

The partnership created new window stickers and air fresheners to raise awareness of the signs of exploitation to be distributed to taxis and licenced premises in Herts.

Also speaking at the event were Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Operation Tropic, Watford Borough Council’s licensing department and the charity Unseen.

Unseen discussed how the national Modern Slavery Helpline that it runs can provide information and support to victims and witnesses.

The charity works to support victims of modern slavery with medical care, counselling, legal advice, education and more.

For more information about Unseen, visit www.unseenuk.org.

Anyone with concerns or who would like advice about modern slavery or human trafficking should call police via 101 or the national Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700. In an emergency call 999.

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