Mandatory CCTV could be on the way for taxi cabs

Photo Ian Robinson'Taxi CCTV
Photo Ian Robinson'Taxi CCTV
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Talks are to continue over future mandatory CCTV usage on board a borough’s taxi fleet.

Licensing councillors at South Ribble met this week to discuss the issue.

The borough was rocked by a taxi driver child sex abuse scandal a couple of years ago.

South Ribble Council’s general licensing committee was presented with a report about the authority’s current permissive stance towards CCTV in licensed vehicles, as well as being updated on the benefits and legal implications of it becoming mandatory.

Commissioner Mary Ney was a strong supporter of the use of mandatory in-cab CCTV when she carried out a review of South Ribble’s licensing section in March 2017 in the wake of the local scandal.

The committee heard that currently nine councils, including Northumberland, Rotherham and Warrington, are currently looking to go mandatory.

Councillors were told there would be “significant” legal implications of such a move, including issues of intrusion and infringement of civil liberties. The cost could be several hundred pounds per vehicle, too.

The committee decided to investigate whether there could be Lancashire-wide talks to discover what other authorities throughout the county felt. It was also agreed to seek the opinions of the borough’s taxi drivers.

Philip Briggs, manager of the Leyland-based Avacab taxi firm, had already stated: “On paper it looks like a good idea, but you have to make sure passengers are safe with data protection and all that. There are definitely more pros than cons.”