Taxi drivers in the Lancaster district are being provided with free training to spot the signs of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE).
It follows reports, after abuse scandals in Rotherham, Rochdale and Oxford, that highlighted the role licensing can play in safeguarding vulnerable children and adults.
Coun Margaret Pattison, chairman of the city council’s Licensing Regulatory Committee, said: “Taxi drivers can be the eyes and ears of the local community. They often carry vulnerable people in their vehicles and it is paramount that they are able to identify any signs of child exploitation and are aware of how to report their suspicions.
“For example, a taxi driver may be sent to pick up a young girl or girls from a care home and asked to deliver them to a particular hotel. This may happen on a regular basis and may give rise to suspicion. Taxi drivers could notice that underage girls are under the influence of alcohol or drugs and are accompanied by older men.
“The training will provide them with the tools they need to identify and help combat exploitation.”