An Adur taxi driver has praised the council’s ‘common sense approach’ for advising that CCTV in taxis should be discretionary, not compulsory.
The issue was considered by Adur District Council’s Licensing committee on Monday, June 19.
We thank the committee for taking a common sense approach and considering representations from the tradeSean Ridley, union representative
Sean Ridley, an Adur hackney carriage proprietor of 39 years and Unite the Union representative for the area, said the decision was appropriate for Adur – ‘a low crime area’ with an ‘absence of incidences’ to justify the mandatory use of CCTV.
While CCTV can record evidence of incidents and deter crime, there are risks of intrusion into privacy, the council’s Privacy Impact Assessment found.
Mr Ridley said after the meeting: “We applaud the decision.
“We thank the committee for taking a common sense approach and considering representations from the trade.”
He said the council had noted guidance from the Department of Transport, which states that ‘unduly stringent’ licensing requirements tend to restrict the supply of taxis, which can ‘work against the public interest’ and have ‘safety implications’.
He said he did not believe many private hire or hackney carriage vehicles in Adur would decide to install CCTV, which costs around £474.
Councillor James Butcher, licensing committee chairman, said: “Taxis are an integral part of the district’s night-time economy.
“As the licensing authority, we have a duty to do what we can to improve public safety.
“But we also know that some drivers have concerns over data protection and the cost of installing these cameras.
“After listening to operators across the district, the committee decided to give drivers the option of installing CCTV cameras.
“The committee will also work with drivers and those that use taxis to regularly review the issue.”