East Riding Council is hoping to have all licensed taxis equipped with CCTV within a year after a pilot scheme suggested that drivers have seen a reduction in violence and bilking. The voluntary pilot scheme saw a number of drivers have CCTV systems fitted in their vehicles.
As reported in the Hull Daily Mail, the scheme has been well received by drivers and passengers. Director of communities and environment, Paul Bellotti, said in a report: “Since the systems were implemented, feedback from drivers has indicated that they feel there has been a reduction in violent incidents and non-payment of fares.
“Some anecdotal feedback from passengers confirmed that they felt safer when there was a camera installed. “In addition, footage has been used by the police and licensing authority in investigations which have led to actions against individuals for assault of drivers/passengers, theft, burglary and footage has played a key role in determining no fault in taxi driver accidents as well as rebutting false allegations made by passengers against drivers.”
The presence of CCTV is seen as a major deterrent to criminal or other unacceptable behaviour and can also be used as vital evidence when dealing with complaints or major incidents reported by either the driver or passenger. The pilot scheme was introduced in 2016 by the council. Mr Bellotti said "This followed a small number of reports of assaults on taxi drivers, false allegations made by passengers and concerns around the transportation of vulnerable adults and children on passenger service runs."
Councillors will be told consultation will be required about making CCTV a mandatory requirement in all licensed vehicles but it is hoped to have all fitted by April 2020 at the latest.
CCTV was used recently to convict two women of racially abusing a taxi driver in the early hours of February 17. The were also charged with criminal damage after kicking the door of the taxi several times.
CCTV caught Lucy Shann, 29, and Abbie White, 18, causing damage to the taxi. Both women
pleaded guilty to racially aggravated criminal damage in Hull Magistrates Court.
The women could be seen kicking out at the door several times in the journey, alongside abusing the driver.
Image: Source; Wikimedia Commons