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COST AND PRIVACY: Cambridge taxi drivers protest and petition against incoming mandatory CCTV plans

Cambridgeshire taxi drivers are set to protest over plans to bring in CCTV in all taxi and private hire vehicles (PHVs) licensed in the area.

In Autumn 2022, Cambridge City Council’s Licensing Committee gave the green light to a programme which will see CCTV systems in all vehicles licensed by the council by 31 March 2024.

Cabbies licensed in Cambridge have however warned the council they may take court action should the costly CCTV taxi policy be pushed on to them during a nationwide cost of living crisis.

The approved policy means all new vehicle licences and existing licensed vehicles up for renewal from 1 April 2023 must be fitted with CCTV. This would see all licensed vehicles installed with CCTV by 31 March 2024.

Taxi drivers who financially survived the drop in revenue during the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns, now face shelling out £500 on systems during a cost of living crisis.

Members of the Cambridge Taxi Driver Association will be protesting outside South Cambridgeshire District Council from 8am.

In a petition set up by Maninder Singh, it details the concerns of taxi drivers. It states: “We are writing against current proposals to install CCTV in Cambridge taxis. We do so on grounds of privacy, respectful working environment and cost.

“Taxi drivers have the right to privacy in their vehicles and this is violated if there is constant CCTV surveillance. Taxi drivers serve the community, sometimes under challenging circumstances, but the job brings with it independence and personal space. There are no known issues with regard to passenger safety at this time.

“Drivers undergo background DBS checks with an update service.

“There is already sufficient CCTV in the wider environment. Any changes to current practice should be made after wide consultation with drivers as stakeholders and with their consent.

“We believe that the current proposals are disrespectfuland imply that drivers are potential criminals. There is little evidence that this is the case. As such the proposals violate our right to dignity at work.

“There are serious cost implications. Taxi drivers have not been supported by the licensing authority during the pandemic and the current proposals will add to the financial burden levied upon us at a time when we have yet to recover from pandemic-related losses.

“Many members of the public to whom we have spoken are also unhappy about the prospect of being recorded in taxis. We respectfully ask that these proposals be dropped.”


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