Sheffield to make CCTV cameras in taxis mandatory

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Taxi drivers in Sheffield will have to install CCTV cameras in their cars at a cost of about £500 each.

Sheffield City Council said cameras in taxis and private hire cabs would help reduce abuse and violent attacks.

Out of 2,224 taxis in Sheffield, the council said 128 currently have CCTV installed.

Hafeas Rehman, chairman of the Sheffield Taxi Trade Association (STTA), said cameras help drivers, but "shouldn't be mandatory".

"We're all adults. If anyone feels it will enhance their safety they should install one, but not have it actually forced on you just because people think it's a good idea," he said.

Chairman of the council's licensing committee, Councillor John Robson, said a mandatory policy was "definitely needed" and the results of a trial in 2007 were "overwhelmingly amazing":

"One in seven fares prior to the trial resulted in an incident - whether that was verbal abuse, threats of violence, physical assault, a dispute over the fare, people running off without paying or damage to the taxi.

"During the trial that figure reduced to less than one in 100. Surely the figures speak for themselves," he said.

A council report said systems that would meet their requirements for safety and recording duration start from around £500.

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