To help safeguard these vulnerable children and protect them from gangs, the Home Office, Institute of Licensing and CrimeStoppers are working to increase awareness among taxi and private hire vehicle drivers, and licensing staff, of the signs to spot a potential victim.
he signs to spot are:
- A child, normally 14-15 years old, but can be as young as 12 travelling a long train journey alone.
- They may be from another area, so may not be familiar with an area (may look lost) and may have a distinct urban accent.
- They may be travelling during school hours or unusual hours (e.g. late in the evening).
- An obvious relationship with controlling, older individuals.
- Suspicion of self-harm, physical assault or unexplained injuries.
- Excessive receipt of texts or phone calls.
The Home Office has produced posters
to help taxi and private hire vehicle drivers and booking staff recognise the signs to spot potential victims. Taxi drivers who spot a vulnerable young person should report their concerns to CrimeStoppers.