Leeds City Council are exploring the possibility of enforcing mandatory CCTV equipment in all taxi and private hire vehicles, following what they believe to be positive outcomes from other licensing authorities who have adopted similar practices.
The council are due to set up a working group to figure out whether setting up and maintaining CCTV equipment in all the city's taxis and PHVs would be practical.
The city's licensing authority team already actively encourages drivers to install systems into their vehicles and even a £250 subsidiary fund to assist installation, but is now considering a push to introduce a mandatory licensing regulation.
According to Leeds Live, a council report states: "While only a small minority of licensing authorities have so far mandated all vehicles to be fitted with CCTV systems, the experience of those authorities that have has been positive for both passengers and drivers.
"In addition, the evidential benefits of CCTV may increase the level of reporting of sexual offences.
"According to the 2017 Crime Survey for England and Wales only 17 per cent of victims report their experiences to the police, 28 per cent of rape or sexual assault victims indicated that a fear they would not be believed as a factor in them not reporting the crime.
"The evidential benefits CCTV could provide are therefore an important factor when considering CCTV in vehicles.
"It is a requirement of data protection law that before implementing a proposal that is likely to result in a high risk to the rights and freedoms of people, an impact assessment on the protection of personal data shall be carried out."
The council is now likely to carry out a Data Protection Impact Assessment which will assess the potential benefits of installing CCTV for passengers and drivers as well as any associated privacy risks.
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