A TAXI operator who installed CCTV in his cab to help curb racist attacks has blasted the council for forcing him to remove it.
Eddie Black, 60, who operates a black Hackney and was a taxi driver for 25 years before retiring, made the move to protect the driver of his cab.
Dad-of-two Nadeem Hussain, who has been working for Eddie for 15 months and has been driving taxis for eight years, said he has suffered several incidents of racial abuse while at work.
The 39-year-old from Rutherglen said he felt the situation improved significantly when the CCTV system was in place because customers knew they were being recorded.
Mr Black installed the £550 CCTV system in his cab on April 15 this year.
The council’s licensing inspection team failed the taxi in June because of the CCTV and the stickers on the vehicle which said it had surveillance in it.
It meant Eddie had to remove the cameras if he wanted to keep the cab on the road.
Glasgow City Council does not allow surveillance equipment in taxis, but bosses are reviewing the current policy.
Mr Hussain said: “I shouldn’t have to put up with being abused at work.
“I have to put up with comments about Muslims.
“Eddie said he was going to install a CCTV system because I was getting so much grief.”
Mr Hussain said he was “grateful” to his boss for making a stand.
He said: “I had the unit for about three months. It was fantastic.
“People changed the way they were with me in the car because they knew they couldn’t get away with the same things.
“The Information Commissioners’ office has guidelines on what you’re supposed to do to operate the system.
“We followed everything to a T.
“The system is encrypted and unaccessible, and password protected as well.
“Patons, the company it came from, are the data controllers, and footage would only be accessed if there was an issue.”
The system consisted of four cameras; one pointing ahead, one looking back, one pointing at the driver and another looking onto the back seats.
Mr Black from Knightswood said: “It’s a godsend for the police, it’s a godsend for the passengers as well as the driver.
“If somebody wants to make a complaint about you it’s on camera. That happens regularly in the taxi trade.
“Night clubs have cameras. So do corner shops and pubs. So why can’t we?
The row erupted after another group of cab drivers called for CCTV to be allowed in city taxis.
As reported in the Evening Times last month, The Scottish Ethnic Private Hire Welfare Association, which represents nearly 150 ethnic minority drivers, said their members needed to feel safer at work, after experiencing racism and hate crimes.
A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: “We have been looking at the arguments for and against adopting CCTV in the taxi fleet for some time – and the proposal is included in a review of policies that is currently underway.”