March 7, 2019
CCTV could be installed in all black cabs and private hire taxis to protect both drivers and passengers. The initiative is being proposed by the government’s Taxi Minister in a bid to provide greater protection for the public. CCTV footage will only be accessed in the event of any crimes being reported.
The idea was put forward following an investigation by the Times Newspaper which highlighted several cases of vulnerable individuals.
Wealden MP and Taxi Minister, Nus Ghani, aims to increase public safety under strict new licensing guidelines. The new rules will also reinforce tougher criminal and background checks for taxi drivers in councils throughout the UK.
“One thing that would help protect both passengers and taxi drivers is the introduction of CCTV cameras inside every cab.”
Taxi Trade Support
Tunbridge Wells taxi drivers have welcomed the initiative to their area. Chairman of the Tunbridge Wells Taxi Association, Shujaullah Baraki, said: “We’re professionals and want to offer the people of Tunbridge Wells the safest and best service we can – anything that ensures this is certainly welcome. One thing that would help protect both passengers and taxi drivers is the introduction of CCTV cameras inside every cab.”
Some drivers have used their own money to install cameras inside their taxi but this isn’t possible for everyone and drivers would like to see funding put in place to help absorb the cost.
Mr Baraki said: “We suggested CCTV installation to the police and there was talk of them providing some funding but nothing has come of it so far.”
Protection for Black Cabs
Driver safety is considered essential by Crawley Borough Council to protect the drivers from violence and any allegations raised against them.
As such, the ‘No Excuse for Abuse’ taxi campaign is currently being rolled out to raise awareness about abuse towards taxi drivers.
The council supports the campaign and has provided drivers with ‘No Excuse for Abuse’ stickers to put on their taxis. The advertising hopes to promote that violence won’t be tolerated and any crimes will be reported to the police.
Taxi drivers in the area hope this will help encourage passengers to be respectful as they carry out a day’s work but say this accounts for a small minority of their customers.
Councillor Geraint Thomas, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Sustainability, said: “These stickers are a great idea. While the vast majority of taxi users are polite and well behaved, there are few who unfortunately feel it acceptable to be abusive. It’s important that people know that this will not be tolerated.”
It’s hoped even more safety initiatives like these will be introduced to the taxi trade.