A pilot scheme which will see taxis in the East Riding fitted with CCTV cameras to protect both drivers and passengers has been launched.
The scheme has been introduced by licensing officers at East Riding of Yorkshire Council and so far, 61 taxis have been fitted with small CCTV cameras within the vehicles, including on dashboards and rear view windscreens.
The scheme, which is voluntary, is aimed initially at passenger transport taxi drivers and those who work late at night – between 1am and 4am – and is aimed at keeping both drivers and passengers safe as well as protecting from any potential allegations.
The introduction of the scheme is part of an on-going training programme for taxi drivers across the East Riding to raise their awareness of safeguarding issues.
The CCTV cameras will remain the property of the council and licensing officers and the police are the only people who will have access to the recordings from the vehicle.
Taxi driver Steve Cox was one of the first to agree to have a CCTV camera fitted in his vehicle, which also has the distinctive white and green livery.
He said: "Safety of both drivers and passengers is paramount so when the idea of having CCTV in taxis came about I agreed to it straight away – it was a no brainer. "It's a win-win situation as it protects drivers who are working late at night while giving peace of mind to customers so they don't have to worry about getting into a unlicensed taxi. "With some of the vehicles now branded with the white and green livery and the addition of CCTV it gives that extra layer of security to everyone."
Councillor Shaun Horton, portfolio holder for community involvement at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: "We are very pleased with the way in which the taxi trade has worked with us to promote public safety."We see this pilot scheme as a positive step and a preventative measure in raising the bar for the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults using our transport services."It is designed to offer reassurance and protection, not only to customers, but to drivers too. "Many of the drivers who have voluntarily agreed to take part in this scheme regularly work late into the night where they can become victims of assault or have passengers who make false allegations. "The early feedback from both drivers and passengers has been incredibly positive with many people saying it is giving them that added feeling of reassurance and protection."