Deadline for CCTV cameras to be installed in Rotherham taxis
Cameras need to be installed in Rotherham taxis this week as part of a scheme to make travelling safer.
The cameras form part of a raft of measures introduced by Rotherham Council in a bid to restore confidence in the town's taxi industry.
A report into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, published in 2014, noted the 'prominent' role some taxi drivers played in the abuse of 1,400 children in the town between 1997 and 2013 while those in authority failed to act.
Rotherham Council Commissioner Mary Ney, who has overseen the introduction of the new regulations, said they set a standard that is amongst the highest in the country.
She added: “Rotherham Council is committed to providing a professional and safe transport service.
"Our aim is to make Rotherham licensed drivers, operators and vehicles of the best quality.
"Ask for a Rotherham driver when you book your taxi and you will know your driver has met our high expectations.
“The regulations will ensure the safety of all those who use local taxis, rebuild trust and confidence in an industry which employs many local people whilst supporting drivers to do their job.”
Most Rotherham taxi drivers need to have cameras installed by today, or be able to demonstrate they are in the process of arranging for a camera to be fitted.
Rotherham Council said they are designed to protect customers and drivers.
The cameras must be activated each time there is a passenger in the vehicle and the audio recording can be activated by either the driver or the passenger at any time.
Drivers are required to this whenever they are involved in any kind of dispute with a passenger and whenever an unaccompanied child or vulnerable adult is being carried.
Drivers will not be able to access the footage or audio and Rotherham Council will only download it if there is a complaint or incident involving a taxi, or if the council wants to check that the system is being used properly.