Fleet operators, taxi drivers, and importantly, the public will be required to share views on whether closed-circuit TV needs to be compulsory for all cabs and private hire cars authorised in Swindon.
This is after the government council’s licensing board voted collectively to place a suggestion to demand drivers to install cameras installed ahead for an eight-week deliberation.
Kathryn Ashton, Licensing manager, said a consultation on this issue had been conducted in 2018-19. However, a lag in updated guidance from the central government and the Covid-19 pandemic affected growth on the subject.
She informed the members that information had been born and it was exceedingly positive about CCTV in the cars.
“The use of CCTV can provide a safer environment for the benefit of taxi/private hire vehicle passengers and drivers by deterring and preventing the occurrence of crime, reducing the fear of crime, assisting the police in investigating incidents of crime and assisting insurance companies in investigating motor vehicle accidents,” said Whitehall.
It has informed regional authorities that they need discuss with the public and find ways to make CCTV a must in all cabs and private hire cars.
“CCTV can also protect drivers. We get complaints from passengers, and we get complaints from drivers as well. Cameras can help with those complaints,” said Ms Ashton.
Andrew Lucas, who was previously the chairman of the Swindon Hackney Drivers’ Association stated that he and several other drivers he had talked to were support the discussion.
However, they have a few questions and concerns regarding the knock-on effects of making CCTV a must.
Further, he stated the costs of setting up the equipment is an important issue and inquired if adjacent authorities would be part of the consultation.
“Many drivers do work particularly in north Wiltshire for the authority, school trips and hospital trips. There is a shortage of wheelchair accessible vehicles in Wiltshire so drivers in Swindon do a lot of work, trips to hospitals and the like, with wheelchair users.
“We would be concerned if a change in policy here meant that drivers lost long-standing contracts which make them thousands of pounds if there was a conflict with a neighbouring authority.”
According to Ms Ashton nearby authorities would be involved in the discussion which all operators, police, drivers, and the night-time economy would be part of via Pubwatch, and the public.