Stroud District Council (SDC) are the latest licensing authority to launch a consultation on whether it would be proportionate for all taxis and private hire vehicles licensed by the council to have a mandatory obligation to have CCTV in the vehicle.
Under Government guidance, all councils are expected to consider whether they should have a local policy mandating CCTV in taxis, and SDC are now looking to balance public and driver safety against privacy and cost.
The Department for Transport (DfT) published its Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards in July 2020 with a strong focus to protect all passengers and users of taxis and private hire transport services. The statutory guidance makes it clear that the Government expects the recommendations contained within it to be implemented unless there is a compelling local reason not to.
The DfT’s view is that CCTV can improve safety for passengers and drivers, and makes it easier for incidents to be investigated.
Every licensing authority in Gloucestershire will be conducting an initial consultation to identify if there are local circumstances in each district which indicate that the installation of CCTV in vehicles would have either a positive or an adverse net effect on the safety of taxi and private hire vehicle users, including children or vulnerable adults.
Also the consultation is seeking views on whether it would be proportionate for the installation of CCTV to be made a mandatory condition of a vehicle licence. Any decision to make it a mandatory condition will take account of the benefits to public safety as well as any adverse effects including potential privacy concerns and costs to the licensed vehicle holder.
Chris Brine, Community Services and Licensing Committee Chair, said: “There is an important balance to be struck and we want to get this right.”
Beki Aldam, Committee Vice Chair, added: “Our officers will analyse consultation feedback to decide if there is evidence to support a mandatory requirement for CCTV in vehicles.”
The consultation runs until 14 August and more details can be found here .