Fareham Borough Council has announced that all new Fareham taxis and private hire vehicles licensed by the Council will be required to have CCTV installed. In their vehicles following a meeting of the Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Committee earlier today.
A report presented to the Committee set out recommendations to equip new taxis and private hire vehicles with a CCTV system. Whilst existing taxi and private hire vehicles would be given until next year to install equipment. However, the Committee agreed the implementation date for existing drivers should be brought forward to 31 December 2024.
A further recommendation was added for the Council to write to Donna Jones, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. To see if there is any funding available to support drivers in meeting the cost.
Cllr Joanne Burton, Executive Member for Health and Public Protection, said: ‘I am delighted that we will be introducing CCTV for taxis and private hire vehicles in Fareham. CCTV will not only provide reassurance to passengers but also to taxi drivers. Some of whom have already been threatened whilst at work.’
The recommendations were put forward following the recent conviction of a taxi driver in Southampton for a serious sexual assault as CCTV provided crucial evidence. Last month Donna Jones called for all Licensing Authorities across Hampshire to introduce mandatory CCTV in taxis and private hire vehicles.
The introduction of CCTV was first considered last year in the wake of a document published by the Department for Transport about taxi and private hire vehicle standards. These were not introduced at the time as the complaint level was relatively low in Fareham. And there were concerns that drivers and vehicle owners were already facing financial hardship following the pandemic.
The report presented to the Committee is available from the Council’s website.