Committee considered a report to review (and approve for public consultation) amendments to the Council’s Taxi Licensing Policy to introduce mandatory CCTV in licensed taxis.
Members all agreed that putting CCTV cameras in taxis was a very positive idea that would increase safety.
The Chair asked if there was a certain standard the cameras must meet. The Solicitor explained that the technical specifications of the cameras were in the report.
Members asked questions about the amounts that operators would have to pay for the systems, and the Environmental Health Team Manager – Licensing explained that as noted in the report, the operators might have to pay £500-£800.
Members also asked questions about if the Licensing team would have enough officers to cope with the added demand of overseeing the new systems. The Environmental Health Team Manager – Licensing explained that the Licensing team had recently undergone a restructure and now had more officers dedicated to administrative work.
Councillor Andrew Joesbury asked what kind of tests would be done on the system in each car. The Solicitor explained that the systems would be installed by a certified person and tested and checked regularly.
Councillor David Downes suggested that to make it financially easier on the operators, the Council could give them the camera specifications and let them find the cheapest deal. The Solicitor explained that allowing operators freedom to purchase their own systems would be discussed in the consultation phase.
Councillor Ray Heffer moved and Councillor David Downes seconded that another recommendation be added to the two in the report which would read: “To explore funding to assist in the installing of these systems.”
The Solicitor stated he would liaise with Finance officers, Procurement officers and the Police to find out what the Council could do in terms of funding.
Councillor Ray Heffer moved and Councillor Andrew Joesbury seconded the two recommendations in the report and the third recommendation just moved by Members.
(i) Members take forward the policy proposals;
(ii) The attached policy proposal is approved for the purposes of consultation with the public, the taxi trade and with stakeholders;
(iii) Officers explore funding to assist in the installing of these systems.
The meeting concluded at 10:40 hours.