TAXI drivers in Torfaen were issued with written warnings over three complaints relating to “inappropriate behaviour towards young girls.”

Torfaen council’s licensing team immediately interviewed the drivers over the three incidents between April and September, and found the behaviour in each case was “inadvisable rather than unacceptable.”

One of the incidents involved a driver giving a cigarette to a 15-year-old girl.


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At a licensing committee meeting on Thursday, Alison Hughes, the council’s licensing manager, said the drivers had been issued with written warnings over future conduct.

Cllr Norma Parrish said it was “really worrying” for three complaints to be made over the issue.

Ms Hughes said the drivers had acted “in all innocence” and said they will learn from their actions.

She said: “Even with the safeguard training, these drivers were not aware that something they did in all innocence, in other cases would be part of these girls being groomed.”

Ms Hughes said one of the incidents involved a driver giving a cigarette to an underage girl, which prompted concern as “cigarettes are often used as part of the grooming process.”

However when the council further investigated, it found the girl was known to be a regular smoker by the driver and others.

Ms Hughes said the girl asked the driver for a cigarette because she had run out, and he gave her one “off the cuff”, knowing she was a smoker.

When it was later explained to the driver that what happened could look like grooming, he said he did not realise and that he would not do it again, the meeting heard.

The people who had raised the complaint were satisfied by the explanation given, Ms Hughes added.

Cllr Parrish said it was “not a wise thing to do” by the driver, even if he knew she was a smoker.

Ms Hughes said the licensing team made that “very, very clear to him.”

“He has now understood he will not be doing it again,” she said.

A total of 29 complaints were made to Torfaen’s licensing team between April and September, with other incidents involving smoking and vehicles not arriving.