CCTV plan for taxis in Thurrock

Thurrock taxi drivers could be ordered to install CCTV in order to protect the public from rogue drivers.

The council currently allows the use of CCTV in the borough’s 250 licensed hire vehicles but doesn’t mandate it.

The Government claims cameras can help keep the public safe 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 accidents.

A report by Paul Adams, licensing manager to Thurrock’s licensing committee, which will meet on Tuesday, said: “All licensing authorities should consult to identify if there are local circumstances which indicate that the installation of CCTV in vehicles would have either a positive or an adverse net effect on the safety of taxi and private hire vehicle users, including children or vulnerable adults, and taking into account potential privacy issues.

“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.”

The report adds CCTV systems that are able to record audio as well as visual data may also help the “early identification of drivers that exhibit inappropriate behaviour toward passengers”.

The council says it recognises making CCTV a condition for obtaining a licence would give rise to concerns, would require “strong justification” and would be kept under review.

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Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter