In July 2020 the Government issued their revised Statutory Taxi & Private Hire Vehicle Standards. This guidance, which the Council has a statutory obligation to regard, clearly demonstrates that authorities are expected to introduce mandatory CCTV in taxis unless there is a compelling local reason not to.
The Council’s Licensing Committee has considered this and agreed that, although there isn’t a local problem which CCTV is needed to address, given the value as a preventative measure and the benefit to public safety, there is no compelling reason not to adhere to the Guidance.
Accordingly the Council is now consulting on that proposed change of policy. In summary the key points are:
- No vehicle will be licensed as a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle unless they have installed a system compliant with the Council’s requirement
- No system will be permitted that doesn’t meet the technical requirements of the policy (anticipated cost to proprietors will be £500-800 per vehicle)
- Vehicle proprietors and licensed drivers will be subject to licence conditions in respect of data security. This will help us demonstrate we are taking precautions as data controller to protect the security of the data stored in the vehicles. System requirements include:
- Visual recording at all times the vehicle is being used as a taxi, with the facility for the vehicle driver to disable the system when it is being used for private purposes
- Audio recording which can be activated by passengers or driver but only in emergencies
- Storage of footage on an encrypted hard drive within the vehicle, accessible only by authorised Licensing officers and the Police.
Why we are Consulting
If we proceed with the policy changes, officers will determine which systems on the market meet these requirements and notify vehicle proprietors in due course. The draft Policy document can be seen by clicking the link on the screen below.
We are asking for stakeholders, the public, deafblind communities and members of the taxi trade to let us know whether they support this policy and what comments they wish to make.
Consultation responses will be considered by the Council’s Licensing Committee before a final decision is taken to amend the policy. If the decision is taken to proceed then a suitable lead in time over a period of months would be set to give proprietors time to have the systems installed.
This consultation closes on Sunday, 23rd May 2021.