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Durham taxi drivers to learn tell tale signs of sexual abuse

Taxi drivers in County Durham are to be trained to spot tell-tale signs of sexual exploitation of children.

All Hackney carriage and private hire drivers licensed by Durham County Council will undergo Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) awareness training.

It's after more than half of people responding to a consultation supported such action.

Already 683 taxi drivers – almost 40 per cent of the 1,757 drivers licensed by the council – have received CSE awareness training on a voluntary basis.

Further free training sessions have been arranged by the Durham Local Safeguarding Children Board.

ALL applicants will be required to undergo the training before they can be licensed.

Existing drivers who haven’t already completed one of the training sessions will have to attend one by 1 September 2016.

% of respondents agreed that all taxi licence applicants should be required to undergo training
taxi drivers who have so far received CSE awareness training

“One of the primary aims of taxi licensing is to protect and safeguard the public, especially our children and young people who are among the most vulnerable groups in society,

“By making it a requirement that all drivers undergo CSE training, we hope that we can help them spot signs of abuse and act on it accordingly.”

– Cllr Brian Stephens, cabinet portfolio holder for neighbourhoods and local partnerships


Twelve adult day centres to close across Co Durham

Bracken Hill Centre in Peterlee is earmarked for closure. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

Councillors in County Durham have agreed to close 12 of their 17 adult day centres, because of falling numbers of people using them and budget cuts.

"Young people are choosing to go to other places within their local community such as theatre, cinema etc and the cost of running these centres is another look at.

We have to save £1.59 million and what we will do is work with people who have been using these services on a one to one basis and offer the support that is required."

– Councillor Lucy Hovvels, Cabinet Member for Adult Services at Durham County Council

The council has said it will offer support to find alternatives for those affected, and will keep five centres open to provide specialist services for people with complex needs.

These five centres will be: Durham Pathways, Pity Me; Spennymoor Pathways, Spennymoor Leisure Centre; Newton Aycliffe Pathways, Aycliffe Leisure Centre; Peterlee Pathways; and Stanley Pathways, Louisa Leisure Centre.

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