Safeguarding vulnerable passengers

The South East Wales Safeguarding Children Board has produced a Safeguarding information leaflet (pdf) to make licensed drivers aware of any needs of the child, young person or vulnerable person they are transporting.

Follow this Good Safeguarding Practice to help protect vulnerable passengers.

  1. At the start of the journey check if any of your passengers have issues which may make them vulnerable so that you can prepare for the journey in the right way:
  • is special assistance needed to ensure the safety of either the passengers or driver?
  • are there any health conditions (e.g. asthmas, epilepsy) which may affect the passengers during the journey?
  • do passengers have disabilities which require support in getting in or out of the vehicle?

 NB: it is not the driver's responsibility to administer medication

2. Ask your operator if an escort would be required for the journey and if they will provide one.

3. Never set off without a specific destination address.

4. Let your operator know (or keep your own record) of the time you picked up the vulnerable passenger and the time and place you dropped them off and whether there was any incident or anything significant on the journey.

5. If you refuse to take a passenger inform your operator so that they can provide another solution, e.g. family member, school staff.

6. Record all incidents and refusals including a description of what happened and any concerns you had.

7. Be professional at all times, try not to be over-friendly or talk about personal issues and do not exchange personal telephone numbers or social media account details.

8. Avoid swearing or aggressive behaviour.

9. Do not touch your passengers.

10. Never accept an offer of a sexual favour instead of payment.

11. Make sure that you are wearing your valid private hire or hackney carriage ID at all times when you are working.

12. Sit lone passengers in the back unless otherwise agreed - a hackney carriage vehicle must have CCTV authorised by the council if you are to carry passengers in a front seat. 

13. Never follow a passenger into a house unless previously agreed or you are authorised to do so.

14. Ask your passenger before making a journey shorter by going off the main road or using an isolated road.

15. Never double up on a booking even if the other passenger is travelling in a similar direction as they may pose a threat to the vulnerable passenger.

16. Report any concerns you have about another driver’s conduct to one of the following bodies:

  • Ask for the duty and assessment team at Newport City Council
  • Call the out of hours emergency team on 0800 328 4432

If there is immediate risk of harm and urgent action is required telephone 999 and ask for the police