Clearer licensing laws needed to help fight child sexual exploitation
An independent report into child sexual exploitation commissioned by Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council has called on the council to join with other local authorities and appropriate agencies to seek clarity at a national level on a range of, amongst others, licensing issues.
In particular, the report said Council’s should press for clarity on:
The grounds and circumstances upon which authorities can suspend and/or revoke licences for taxi drivers and fast food establishments, thereby enabling more robust disruption tactics for child sexual exploitation;
The legal framework that denies local authorities the ability to restrict the number of private hire and hackney carriage licences they issue when deemed appropriate;
The most effective over-arching legal framework(s) to enable prevention and detection of child sexual exploitation, whilst at the same time enabling each agency to fulfil its role in safeguarding those at risk.
In response, Rochdale said it had raised the issues with the Local Government Association “with the aim of ensuring clarity can be established at a national level on behalf of all councils”.