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MANDATORY CCTV RULED OUT: Lack of evidence and cost concerns puts stop to Cambridgeshire taxi CCTV

East Cambridgeshire District Council has chosen not to implement mandatory CCTV in taxis licensed in the area. The decision came after consulting with taxi drivers and members of the public, although the response rate was relatively low.

Out of the 35 responses received, the majority of taxi drivers indicated that they currently felt safe at work, with only 20 percent in favor of mandatory CCTV. Meanwhile, the public's response was largely positive, with individuals stating they already felt secure when using taxis. It is however worth noting that four respondents mentioned they might use taxis more frequently if CCTV was mandatory.

The Licensed Private Hire Car Association (LPHCA) raised concerns about the financial burden placed on drivers, estimating the cost of buying and installing CCTV to be over £500. They also highlighted worries regarding data management and privacy, emphasising that they were not opposed to CCTV but were against blanket mandates.

Speaking at a meeting of the district council's licensing committee, officers noted that licensed taxi drivers in the region were considered professional and compliant, resulting in few reported issues. Due to the lack of substantial evidence indicating an underlying problem, they concluded that the implementation of mandatory CCTV would be disproportionate and should be postponed.

According to Cambridgeshire Live, Councillor Mark Inskip expressed his disappointment with the low response rate but supported the officers' suggestion, stating that he struggled to see a strong case for mandatory CCTV. Councillor Christine Ambrose Smith acknowledged the merit of CCTV in taxis but also highlighted the considerable cost for drivers. She reiterated that while no serious incidents had occurred thus far, it did not guarantee their absence in the future.

Ultimately, the committee unanimously agreed that the current evidence did not justify mandating CCTV in taxis. However, the committee did revise the policy to require drivers who choose to install CCTV to provide the footage to the district council or law enforcement if lawfully requested.


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