CCTV cameras may soon have to be fitted in every taxi in the city as the council floats the idea of making them compulsory.

With nine months of work already behind them, city council officers will continue to look at the idea before joining the likes of Hereford in adopting the mandatory camera policy.

But no decision should be expected soon as councillors voted to give more time to officers to draw up reports with further discussion expected sometime in the next year.

Currently, taxi drivers are not required to install cameras as mandatory but can do so if they want to. If the idea did come to fruition, every taxi in the city would be required to install CCTV cameras before they were handed a licence.

Initial consultation by council officers found that taxi companies and drivers did not support the compulsory installation of CCTV – mainly because of the cost in purchasing, installing and maintaining the equipment.

The requirement to install CCTV in every taxi hopes to address three big issues – deterring passengers from making off without payment, preventing passengers from physically attacking taxi drivers and lastly to provide evidence when complaints are made against a taxi driver.

The debate over mandatory cameras was first proposed at a licensing and environment health committee meeting in January but further discussions and decisions were deferred until last week (September 10) so officers could cast a new eye over the idea following the GDPR overhaul in April – with particular attention paid to who would be allowed to store the footage.

Initial support for the cameras included Cllr Roger Knight, who said he was “very much in favour” both for the benefit of drivers and for passengers and looked forward to hearing the latest article.

“I hope it allows us to do what we should be doing,” he said.

"CCTV is nothing new. CCTV is everywhere. We look at it wrongly as an invasion of privacy rather than the protection of people."

The council has used an article by Kings Chambers barrister Ben Williams QC which has outlined a number of issues with GDPR and CCTV in taxis and is waiting for a follow-up article due to be published at the start of next year, as well as Local Government Association guidelines, before making any further decisions.