By Connor Steel
FAREHAM BOROUGH COUNCIL have ordered that their “new taxis and private hire vehicles” will now be mandated to have CCTV installed in their vehicles following a Committee meeting earlier this week; this decision being welcomed by both potential customers and taxi drivers after an alarming rise in recent criminal offences occurring inside the vehicles.
The council had previously rejected a blanket requirement for CCTV due to relatively low complaint levels and financial challenges faced by drivers due to the pandemic. But it has since moved their ‘stance’ after a driver was found guilty of sexually assault of a passenger in Southampton, which was caught on CCTV in the vehicle and used in this court case.
Statistics also show that there has been an increase in complaints featuring drivers and passengers in taxis; with a poll stating that forty eight percent of drivers have received threats whilst working and 41% have ‘already installed’ CCTV. A total of seventy four percent of passengers said they would feel safer in taxis and 61% supported the fresh ‘mandation’.
Councillors have published a report that gives recommendations that every taxi should have CCTV installed before the date of December 31, 2024; which has been moved forward from 2025. They will further write a letter to the Hampshire Police & Crime Commissioner, Donna Jones, to see if there is any funding available to support drivers in meeting cost.
Readers can see quotes from Councillor Joanne Burton by visiting this link, whilst a three page ‘minutes’ from Fareham Borough Council’s Licencing and Regulatory Affairs Committee can be explored by opening the ‘PDF’ documents here.
PICTURED BY PIXABAY: Taxis in Fareham must have CCTV installed by end of 2024 under council recommendation.