A pilot to trial CCTV in taxis licensed by Telford & Wrekin Council is being introduced to see whether it makes drivers and passengers feel safer.
The aim of the pilot is to gauge whether fitting CCTV into vehicles deters crime and anti-social behaviour. For this trial, cameras will be fitted into 20 taxis licensed by the council.
Steven is a taxi driver operating in the borough and said: “I think the CCTV pilot is a very good idea and I am more than happy to take part. Having CCTV in my taxi makes me feel safer, particularly when working at night.”
Deputy leader for Telford & Wrekin Council and cabinet member for housing, enforcement and transport, Richard Overton (Labour) said: “This is a voluntary scheme in partnership with West Mercia Police to gather feedback from drivers and passengers about whether CCTV helps them feel safer.
“We know that CCTV acts as a visible deterrent to crime. From the driver’s point of view, having CCTV in their vehicle may make them feel less vulnerable to attacks or fare dodging. In addition to the stringent checks our council licensing officers make, passengers may feel further reassured knowing there is CCTV.”
The cameras will not record sound except in an emergency to protect privacy. Footage will only be accessed if there is a complaint, or the driver or passenger makes a request to see it.
Signage will be displayed inside and outside the vehicle telling passengers the vehicle is fitted with CCTV and how to request a recording.
Unlike other areas, Telford & Wrekin Council will be responsible for the data rather than the driver, giving the public confidence their personal information is secure.
Funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner is being made available for the pilot.
West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner, John Campion, said: “I have a huge amount of respect for taxi drivers who play an important role in our society.
“I hope fitting CCTV in taxis helps deter crime and abusive behaviour and offers reassurance to both drivers and passengers. I look forward to seeing the results of the pilot.”