For now it’s optional but council considers whether all East Cambridgeshire taxis should have CCTV

Taxis in East Cambridgeshire could all be required to have CCTV. Picture: Pexels

Taxis in East Cambridgeshire could all be required to have CCTV. Picture: Pexels - Credit: Archant

Taxis could be forced to have CCTV in their cabs as part of changes to be considered by East Cambridgeshire District Council.

The council’s licensing committee will be asked to agree next week to look at the issue.

The committee is being asked to “instruct officers to consult to see if there are any local circumstances which indicate whether introducing CCTV in vehicles would have a positive or negative impact”.

Now it is optional and the council’s policy says that where CCTV is installed, the licensee must ensure that a sign is displayed in a prominent position in the vehicle so that passengers are made aware of the presence of the camera.

“The licensee shall ensure that all CCTV systems follow data protection laws and any cameras are mounted at a level equal to or greater than the level of the dashboard, and directed at face height,” it says.

Minor amendments are being proposed elsewhere to the licensing policy and these will be discussed by councillors.

At its last meeting the committee heard that the Government had decided to introduce statutory guidance for taxis, while before only local policies had been relied on. So, the council’s own policies had to align with the new guidelines.

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These had been cross-referenced and it had been found that the council policies by-and-large matched the new requirements.

Changes included an oral knowledge test, safeguarding and customer awareness training for members and DBS checks on drivers would be reduced to six months. All drivers have DBS clearance and 80 per cent of drivers were already registered on the DBS update service, so they would be okay, but the remaining 20 per cent of drivers would need to submit a new DBS application.

Senior licensing officer Stewart Broome will tell the committee that for several years key stakeholders have been calling for the Government to overhaul the “outdated legislation” controlling the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire trade.

He said that as well as updating the legislation was a call for more consistency in the licensing of drivers, vehicles and operators, especially when it comes to the issue of whether someone is “safe and suitable”, to be a licence holder.