It has emerged that draft proposals are being drawn up by Mendip District Council, which will allow taxi drivers in the region to install internal CCTV.
The cameras themselves will have to reach a strict criteria set by the council, and all drivers will have to adhere to all of the requirements laid down in current privacy legislation.
All taxis will be required to carry highly visible internal signage, warning passengers that they may be recorded on CCTV.
The CCTV will not continuously record throughout a journey and will not be linked to the meter. It will operate in short bursts and may be triggered by a panic button, door switches or sharp braking.
There will be no audio recording, it is an offence to record a conversation unless an individual feels threatened or is in fear for their safety.
All data gleaned from the cameras must be kept on a secure, encrypted storage system for a maximum of 28 days.
The proposals for the scheme will go out for consultation for 12 weeks from an unspecified date.
Upon approval or ammendment the proposals should come into force on 30th September.
This then begs the question as to whether internal CCTV could be rolled out nationally in taxis. There have neen concerns in the past as to whether internal CCTV impinges on a passengers privacy, should this scheme be successful this could be an important piece of armoury in a taxi drivers safety.