Should it be compulsory to have CCTV within Taxis licensed by Wealden District Council?
The Licensing Authority are consulting on whether CCTV within Taxis (Hackney Carriages and Private Hire Vehicles) would have a positive or adverse effect on the safety of passengers and users including children and vulnerable adults.
We need to consider the safety of those who use taxis but also take account of the effect on their privacy while using the vehicle.
Making the use of CCTV in vehicles compulsory (mandatory) may discourage people that are intent on causing harm from applying to have a taxi licence. Those that hold a licence may also change their behaviour.
CCTV systems that can record sound (audio) as well as visual data may also help in the early identification of drivers and passengers that are demonstrating inappropriate behaviour. When sound recordings are being made it must however be obvious to everyone within the vehicle that the recording is happening.
There is some detailed Government guidance within the Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Standards document about the use of CCTV’s. This is in an Annex on page 38 and the standard can be found on the governments Gov.uk website.
Installing the CCTV system, and having procedures in place to maintain, monitor and manage the system and information will entail an additional cost for drivers, vehicle proprietors and potentially operators.
There are important considerations about who is the data controller and about data protection. The driver and data controller would need to have adequate arrangements in place to protect privacy, data, a secure CCTV system and procedures to ensure that don’t contravene best practice and statutory guidance. This is complicated as the data is potentially very sensitive and would need to be stored, processed and dealt with securely. It is essential that recordings would only be accessed by those with a proper reason for doing so, normally this would be the police or Licensing Authority.
Would also need to identify who acts as the data controller; in the guidance one option is that the Licensing Authority fulfils this role. This may be complicated by ICT restrictions that exist within Local Authorities who have increasingly high security restrictions that limit what externally generated data can be uploaded and stored on our secure servers.
For key findings and changes made see results below:
Topics covered by this consultation:
Community Safety, Public Health
Consultation Start Date: 16/12/2022
Consultation End Date: 20/01/2023
Results expected by: 20/02/2023
Please note: these dates are subject to change.
Areas covered by this consultation:
Wealden District (All)
Target audience for this consultation:
Wealden Residents, Wealden Businesses, Key Stakeholders
Frequency of this consultation: One-off
Methods of consultation used:
Online Survey (All Public)
What Happens Next?
Consultation responses from the public, taxi drivers and partner organisations will be considered alongside other guidance and best practice on this topic and a decision will be reached in due course.
Contact Name: Environmental Health, Licensing
Telephone: 01323 443322