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Swindon Council halts push for mandatory CCTV in taxis due to record-keeping challenges

Swindon Borough Council has backtracked on its decision to require CCTV installation in all local taxis, citing overwhelming administrative demands and resource constraints.

Initially, in mid-2022, the council's licensing committee agreed to enforce CCTV in all new and existing taxis by April 2023. However, staffing shortages within the licensing department thwarted these plans, pushing the implementation deadline back by one year.

Further scrutiny into the policy unveiled substantial data management challenges, as outlined by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). The council, as the data controller, would face rigorous technical and legal obligations to manage the footage securely, an undertaking now deemed too burdensome.

Three cabbies were suspended and three had their licences revoked over the past year, but the council pointed out that none of the cases required CCTV evidence to reach a resolution. The licensing authority have now concluded that the existing crime levels do not warrant such stringent mandatory CCTV measures.

With these considerations, the council has decided against mandating CCTV in taxis, acknowledging both the practical challenges and the current low necessity for such surveillance.

A report said: "This review established that where the council has mandated CCTV as part of its taxi licensing policy, there are significant technical requirements that must be in place to implement the requirement and to fulfil the Information Commissioner’s Office requirements.

“These present onerous expectations on the council as the data controller.”


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