Taxi drivers in Castle Point could be given mandatory training about child sexual exploitation as part of an awareness campaign.

Castle Point Council is proposing new safeguarding guidelines in the borough in an attempt to reduce potential risks to children.

It wants to avoid the borough becoming subject to major incidents such as those reported in Rotherham and Oxford.

An investigation, published last month, concluded Rotherham Council had “turned a blind eye” to the issue.

Taxi drivers in the town were also found to have facilitated abuse. A report compiled by council officer Melanie Harris will be discussed by Castle Point Council’s cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

One policy proposed is providing a handbook and free training to taxi drivers, which would be a requirement for anyone seeking paid work in the borough.

Bill Sharp, the council’s deputy leader, said: “Anything this council can do to alleviate fears and worries of residents about child exploitation we will be supportive of.

“It is something the council is proposing because we think it will be helpful, both for taxi drivers and the people who will use the facility.

“It is a genuine effort to find resolutions to issues which are prevalent across the country.”

The council is compiling its safeguarding strategy in response to the uncovering of organised sex abuse in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, between 1997 and 2013.

In her report, Ms Harris said: “The council takes child sexual exploitation very seriously and is undertaking a campaign to ensure current good practice is embedded across the council and in other areas of community life.

“Awareness raising will be targeted at people working in taxi companies, licensed premises, restaurants and fast food outlets.”

Next month, a Rotherham Lessons Learned conference will be held at Castle Point Council’s offices.

At a meeting in December, councillors identified Thorney Bay caravan park, off Thorney Bay Road, Canvey, as a site where urgent action was needed to protect vulnerable children.

Simon Hart, of the Essex Safeguarding Children Board, told members youths living on the park were at risk of alcohol and substance abuse.