A consultation to gather views on the proposed installation of CCTV in hackney carriage taxis and private hire vehicles in Colchester has been given the go-ahead at Colchester Borough Council’s Licensing Committee meeting.
If the Policy is adopted, all hackney carriage and private hire vehicles licensed by the council will be required to have CCTV installed in the vehicle, protecting both the public and drivers.
Councillor Mike Lilley, Colchester Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Communities, Wellbeing and Public Safety, said: “I’m pleased that our Licensing Committee has agreed to take this proposed policy forward to consultation.
"Installing CCTV cameras in hackney carriage and private hire vehicles will increase safety and provide reassurance to both passengers and drivers.”
The CCTV cameras will continually record when the vehicle is in use.
The CCTV footage is subject to strict policies that comply with the requirements of the Information Commission.
The data recorded from these cameras cannot be monitored by the driver or vehicle owner, and relevant data will only be recovered when necessary by Colchester Borough Council.
Cllr Mike Lilley added: “I see this as a proactive move to ensure we’re doing all we can to keep those who live, work and visit Colchester safe. Research has shown that when someone is being recorded, they are more likely to be better behaved and taxis have been known to be used for criminal activities.
"The footage recorded will provide invaluable evidence to enable us to take robust action against those who choose to abuse drivers and passengers or break the law.
“I recognise that the implementation of CCTV will be an additional cost for licensees, but we feel the safety of drivers and the public are paramount.”
The consultation is planned to start at the end of January.
Image credit: Mark Twyman