A councillor is calling for mandatory cameras in Middlesbrough’s taxis to protect both drivers and passengers.

Beechwood and Longlands councillor Joan McTigue is a member of Middlesbrough licensing committee and made the request at a recent meeting. Several “concerning” cases have been heard behind closed doors, she said, resulting in drivers being stripped of their licences.

CCTV footage would help in their decision-making, she said. A retired taxi driver from Middlesbrough agreed it would be a valuable safety tool and could also help Cleveland Police gather evidence in their investigations.

Cllr McTigue said: “I know there are a lot of taxi drivers who take vulnerable teenagers on their own and we, as a local authority, should say you can’t have a licence unless they have cameras installed,” she said. “It’s not just the children the dash cams protect, it’s drivers too.”

She raised the suggestion at a licensing meeting, but claims the idea was “more or less dismissed”. She said: “I was told the drivers have training , but training isn’t going to prevent things happening.

“You could ask any parent of any child and they would think it was a good idea. It’s safeguarding the child, the driver and the council.”

Retired taxi driver, Ian McPherson agreed it was a “good idea all round”. He said: “You hear all these stories about females being accosted and drivers are accosted too.”

Mr McPherson, who lives in the Netherfields area, was a taxi driver for more than 40 years and said he was attacked several times in his line of work. On one occasion, he was punched in the head by a passenger and needed overnight hospital treatment for concussion.

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“It would be much safer and could also help the police in gathering evidence,” he said. Middlesbrough Council and the chair of the licensing committee, Cllr Linda Lewis, both declined to comment on the idea.

Several local authorities have taken the decision to mandate CCTV systems, as a way to further safeguard passengers and drivers. According to the Office for National Statistics, taxi drivers are among the most at-risk occupations for experiencing violence while at work.

Concerns and challenges of bringing in such rules could include the costs of the systems and privacy and data protection of drivers and passengers.