Safeguarding training helped taxi driver save teen from paedophile’s planned kidnap

A vigilant taxi driver appeared in the news this week, describing how he intervened to prevent a 13-year-old girl from meeting up with the paedophile who had groomed her online and was planning her abduction, armed with knives, tape and sedatives.

Satbir Arora, the taxi driver who has since been hailed a hero for his intervention, says he was able to recognise the signs that something was amiss thanks to safeguarding training.

After driving her from Bicester to Gloucester station, when no one turned up to meet Mr Arora’s 13-year-old passenger, the taxi driver asked the girl for more information about who she was meeting, and grew suspicious when the teenager declined to share details. Using the knowledge he had learned from a safeguarding training course, Mr Arora called his wife and made the girl speak with her on the phone, where it became clear that her parents did not know what was going on.

In reaction, Mr Arora contacted the police. He then called the person who had booked the taxi for the girl – Sam Hewings, 24, who had been grooming the 13-year-old online and had arranged to meet her at the station, where he had planned to abduct the schoolgirl after she was dropped off. Mr Arora recorded his telephone conversation with Hewings, which was used as important evidence in court.

Upon further investigation, police found that Hewings had talked openly in online forums about his plans to kidnap, drug and rape a child. A bag containing knives, duct tape and the drug cocodamol was found at his home.

Thanks to Mr Arora’s thoughtful and vigilant response, Hewings was arrested and sentenced to five years in prison for attempted abduction and the distribution and creation of indecent images. Of his safeguarding training, which had been provided by the local authority, Mr Arora said, “The training was really useful. Because of the cases we read about on the safeguarding course I was able to recognise the signs and quickly spot that it was a grooming case.”

Cherwell District and South Northamptonshire Council have awarded Mr Arora with an ‘outstanding achievement in safeguarding’ for his excellent response to the situation.

Undoubtedly, safeguarding training is extremely important for everyone who comes into contact with children, young people and vulnerable adults during their work or leisure activities – and taxi drivers are no exception. There are many signs and indicators that someone is being abused or neglected, but without the appropriate level of safeguarding training it can be difficult to notice and interpret these signs, or to know how to deal with any concerns or allegations you might have.

Our Introduction to Adult/Child Protection online training course is a great solution for taxi drivers looking to take safeguarding training. The course provides a general overview of child protection and safeguarding, listing the signs and indicators of abuse and neglect, as well as advising on how to handle your concerns if you ever have any. The course is entirely online, and takes between 1-2 hours to complete, with the option to pause and restart whenever you need to. It can be accessed on any computer or mobile device with internet connection, making it the perfect solution for catching up on your training between pickups. You’ll receive a verifiable certificate valid for 2 years upon successful completion of the course.

For more information about our safeguarding training and bulk discounts, please visit our dedicated course page. You can contact us by emailing or calling our friendly sales team on 01327 552030.

Safeguarding is everyone’s business. Do you know enough to step in and prevent abuse?