Swindon Borough Council have decided to put the possibility of mandatory CCTV systems in all taxi and private hire vehicles on the backburner - for now.
Proposals for mandatory systems were put together and discussed during a recent council meeting, with pros and cons highlighted to committee members.
The final decision came following a 14 week consultation period, but the council's licensing manager, Kathryn Ashton, said they were still waiting for advice from the Department of Transport before moving ahead with the proposals.
Ashton advised committee members that mandatory CCTV systems is something they will be looking at again in the future, but for now it would be shelved.
As part of the proposals to mandate CCTV in all hackney carriage and private hire vehicles, driver and passenger safety was highlighted as the biggest benefit.
Data issues was one of the committee's biggest concerns. The council concluded the meeting by discussing how to encourage drivers to voluntarily install CCTV systems into their vehicles.
One solution was to offer drivers who voluntarily install the cameras the chance to sign up with the Information Commissioner’s Office code of practice on how to deal with the data.
The financial implications of installing such systems has also been highlighted. If a driver voluntarily chooses to have them fitted, the cost would solely be on them, whereas if it was mandatory, they may be able to agree some sort of financial help or funding from the licensing board.
Andy Lucas of the Swindon Drivers' Association said: “We are concerned about the cost. Across the fleet of taxis in Swindon, it wouldn’t be short of £1m. We are also concerned about whether this could jeopardise the contracts we have with other local authorities to transport vulnerable passengers.”
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