STAFF at the Drive Thru McDonald’s in Redditch have been given training on how to spot if a young or vulnerable person is being criminally exploited.
The classes came as part of West Mercia Police’s We Don’t Buy Crime initiative, teaching people to know the signs to safeguard those at risk.
Last year the force brought in two dedicated exploitation and vulnerability trainers to raise awareness of the issue.
People who have received the training so far include hotel workers, licensed premises and council workers, refuse collectors, teachers and voluntary organisations.
More than 18,000 people across the area covered by West Mercia Police have received the training.
The focus has now turned on training staff at Drive Thru restaurants based on retail parks and service stations to upskill staff.
The training aims to help raise awareness of the signs staff need to look out for, and what to do if they suspect criminal exploitation.
We Don’t Buy Crime’s Inspector, Ram Aston, said: “We’ve already worked with staff at service stations as part of our fuel theft initiative and are really pleased we are now rolling this out to staff at Drive Thru restaurants.
“Staff at these venues play an important role in helping us to protect those who are most vulnerable, they are our eyes and ears and may see or hear something that sparks concern.
“If that information is passed on to police it could prove crucial in helping to prevent crime.
“The training will help staff to spot these signs, help them to identify what information police need and how they can pass this on to us.
“We’re really grateful for the role our communities play in helping us to protect those who are vulnerable.
“It is fantastic that we now have more than 18,000 people upskilled in exploitation and vulnerability and are committed to increasing that number and delivering the training to even more people and even more sectors in the future.”
The force’s Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion has provided a £63,825 contribution to fund the exploitation and vulnerability trainers.
He said: “Extending their work to include staff at Drive Thru restaurants is another step forward to protecting vulnerable people, and educating communities to look out for each other.”