EVERY taxi in Warrington is set to have CCTV installed in order to protect the security of drivers and passengers.
Warrington Borough Council has ordered cabbies across town to fit their vehicles with CCTV after a consultation with drivers, members of the public and partner agencies.
It hopes that the cameras, which will be rolled out from June 1, will tackle crime in taxis as well as help bring justice when offences are committed.
Installation costs around £400 per vehicle and when taxis have their six monthly or annual MOTs the cameras will be installed alongside stickers alerting users of their presence.
Cllr Judith Guthrie said: “The taxi hire trade valuable public service, especially late at night when other forms of public transport are not always available.
“Security for drivers and passengers is of a high priority – the cameras will act hopefully as a deterrent to prevent any crime happening and help those most vulnerable to feel safer.
“The council is also aware that the taxi and private hire sector is becoming increasingly-competitive following steps to deregulate the taxi licensing regime.
“It is in the best interests of the council and our local business to demonstrate that licensed operators in Warrington operate to the highest standards, providing a quality service in order that they can remain commercially competitive.”
Some of the town’s cabbies have had their say on the move, which would also allow them to record sound if they choose.
Eugene Kelly, the co-owner of Lymmited Taxis and Minibuses, said: “I think it is a great move and I am fully behind it.
“There are no cons to this – it is good news for drivers and passengers.
“Passengers who get in our cars that have the cameras also say they think it is a great idea and how much more comfortable they feel.
“It is especially good for lone women travelling – it will definitely make them feel more comfortable.”
Dave Brownlee of We Care Travel says the move has proved popular with customers as well.
He said: “I’m very happy with the camera – I feel more confident and I know my customers do too.
“One lady who got in my cab last week liked the idea so much she said when she rings for a cab in future she will always ask for one that has a camera installed.
“I got my camera put in as soon as I heard about it even though my MOT is not due until the end of the year.”