Derbyshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Angelique Foster has offered her full backing to a local authority after it became the first in the county to make CCTV compulsory in taxis.
Commissioner Angelique Foster has already thrown down the gauntlet to local councils throughout Derbyshire to follow North-East Derbyshire District Council’s lead in mandating CCTV in all taxis to boost the safety of passengers and improve the detection of crime.
The Department for Transport (DfT) issued statutory guidance in 2020 suggesting that CCTV can provide an additional deterrent to prevent crime and help bring perpetrators to justice.
Having supported North-East Derbyshire District Council’s (NEDDC) plans for a long time, Commissioner Angelique Foster is a strong advocate for the move, particularly for the extra reassurance it offers female passengers frequenting the night-time economy, and has written to every local authority in Derbyshire to encourage full take-up of the approach.
Derbyshire Constabulary recently used footage taken from a taxi CCTV camera to assist in providing evidence to tackle a County Line that exploited young people while also taking advantage of vulnerable adults in Derby City.
The crucial footage enabled officers to submit compelling evidence which led to the successful prosecution of 11 individuals who received more than 40 years behind bars.
Meanwhile, a number of vulnerable children were identified and safeguarded from the gang.
Police and Crime Commissioner Angelique Foster said: “I am fully supportive of North East Derbyshire District Council’s decision to adopt this policy and I am thankful to the District Councillors who have boldly become the first in the county to do so.
“Public safety is paramount and anything we can do to protect passenger safety and reduce the risk of crime has to be embraced.
“Everyone has a right to feel safe and it is important we take practical steps to reduce risk or vulnerability where possible, particularly where it concerns the safety of women and girls.
“Small measures can save lives and I am calling on our local authority colleagues across Derbyshire to see the sense in this approach and follow this council’s lead.”
Through the deployment of further CCTV in taxis, the Police and Crime Commissioner believes more crime will be detected and prevented – a view shared by members of the public she has engaged with.
It will also help to reduce the fear of crime and reassure passengers their safety is a priority.
Following discussions with other licensing officers across Derbyshire, it is understood that other local authorities are preparing to consult the public on a range of new measures to boost safety, which may include the use of CCTV.
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