Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Taxi drivers and fast food workers trained to help spot signs of child exploitation

Taxi drivers, hotel staff and those working at fast food outlets have taken part in a training day to help combat child exploitation. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Taxi drivers, hotel staff and those working at fast food outlets have taken part in a training day to help combat child exploitation.

Police officers investigating the issue in the county have organised the training in Huntingdon as it is believed people working in these areas may witness key behaviour.

Some perpetrators use taxis to transport children to locations, often hotels, to be exploited. The offenders may regularly buy the victims gifts, or take them to fast food outlets as part of attempts to groom them.

Police officers investigating the issue in the county have organised the training in Huntingdon Credit: ITV News Anglia

In addition to representatives from local businesses, staff from nearby branches of McDonald's will be attending the day help workers identify when someone may be at risk of exploitation.

Both girls and boys can become victims of exploitation - with people they see friends or boyfriends taking advantage of them sexually or by coercing them into committing crime such as selling drugs.

Three signs to look out for if you think a child is being exploited Credit: ITV News Anglia

"It's fantastic to have local businesses and staff from huge organisations such as McDonalds on board with this new initiative. Thank you to everyone who has signed up and committed to helping us combat exploitation.

"We believe people working in these areas are more likely to witness behaviour linked to exploitation. It's therefore vital people know the signs and report any concerns, as we all have a responsibility to protect children in our communities.

"We want people to feel confident in reporting issues which could help us protect vulnerable children. If a situation doesn't feel right, please trust your instincts and report it."

– Detective Inspector Sherrie Nash
  • Watch our interview with Detective Superintendent Laura Koscikiewicz