What you can do to help those at risk
By following these good safeguarding practices you will help to protect those who are vulnerable and/or being exploited:
- Check at the point of booking if there are any vulnerability issues and prepare accordingly
- Ask the person booking if an escort for the vulnerable passenger is required and if they are providing one
- Let your head office know (or keep a record) of the time you picked up the vulnerable passenger, the time and place you dropped them off and whether there was any incident or anything significant on the journey
Be sure to avoid swearing or aggressive behaviour. Do not touch passengers and make sure you are wearing ID (your licence badge and your company uniform). Don't assume your passenger wants help - always ask. Other examples of good practice include:
- Sitting lone passengers in the back unless otherwise agreed.
- Never following a passenger into the house unless previously agreed/properly authorised.
- Asking before making a journey shorter by going off the main roads/using isolated country roads, explain and give the passenger (or person booking) a choice of route.
- Never setting off with a passenger without a specific destination address.
- Never doubling up on a booking – even if passengers are travelling in a similar direction, they may pose a threat or risk to the other passenger.
As with all professions if you are concerned about another driver’s conduct report your concerns to your manager or the relevant agency.
Organisations should have a lead member of staff for safeguarding. This person should be able to advise colleagues about how to manage vulnerable passengers and any incidents arising.
Always keep a record, either in your cab or at head office, of any incidents or situations you were not happy with – the record should include a description of what happened and what you did to keep yourself and your passenger safe.