The online tutorial is currently being rolled out in both North and West Northamptonshire Council areas – to help taxi and private hire drivers spot signs that women may be in danger.
Drivers already play a big role in informally coming to the help of revellers who may find themselves vulnerable. The training aims to consolidate good practice and provide formal support.
The project is part of a package of measures intended to improve the safety of women and girls, particularly in public spaces and at night. The taxi training package and the wider programme of work has been funded largely through the Home Office Safer Streets Fund after a successful bid by the Northamptonshire Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner.
Now the training package has been recognised on the global stage, making the finals of the Music Cities Awards – a competition designed to acknowledge economic, social, environmental and cultural development in cities and places all around the world.
It will compete against entries from Bogota and Dallas in the Best Night-Time Economy Initiative category with the winners announced at a ceremony in Huntsville, Alabama, USA on October 18, 2023.
Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold thanked both unitary authorities for their involvement in implementing the training package.
The training package will be disseminated to all new and existing drivers and compromises three short videos and a knowledge check for drivers to complete, primarily around women’s safety.
The three videos cover drink spiking, sexual abuse and domestic abuse with training available in five languages: English, Turkish, Punjabi, Bengali and Urdu.
Over time, the intention is to factor this into both NNC and WNC licensing conditions with the aim that it will eventually be mandatory for drivers to complete.