TAXI drivers are the “eyes and ears of the community” with new safeguarding training to be rolled-out to protect vulnerable people.

Ceredigion County Council is working with other authorities to produce a digital training pack which drivers will be tested on which highlights the importance of looking out for unusual or suspicious journeys or passengers.

Senior licensing officer Gareth Rees said that the Four Counties Licensing Forum representing Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Powys had decided jointly to produce its own bilingual training resource for local drivers, funded by the proceeds of crime fund at Dyfed-Powys Police.

“It will be a way of ensuring all the taxi drivers receive training. The purpose of the training is to give them the confidence to report back and what we will do about it,” he added at Wednesday’s (April 3) licensing committee.

Training focuses on recognising what makes adults and children vulnerable, violence, sexual exploitation, county lines and human trafficking indicators.

It includes suspicious journeys or why someone is going somewhere as well as maintaining professional boundaries.

The committee was told about a taxi driver in Oxford who saved a 13-year-old girl from abduction by a paedophile armed with knives, tape and sleeping pills.

The driver contacted his wife, who called police, with concerns about the girl meeting a 24-year-old at Gloucester train station, who was going to pay the fare.

He was later convicted said Mr Rees, and the taxi driver commended.

The story demonstrated how important taxi drivers were said Cllr Paul James. The new training will be rolled-out in the near future.