Cambridge City Council
The Cambridge City Council introduced a mandatory policy for all private hire and taxi vehicles licensed within the council to have CCTV systems installed by 31 March 2024. As the authority responsible for taxi licensing, the council aims to prioritize public safety, vehicle security, crime prevention, and driver protection, all of which can be enhanced through the installation of CCTV in licensed vehicles.
The CCTV systems must adhere to specific specifications. These specifications ensure all suppliers of CCTV, approved by the council, provide taxis and PHV drivers with a system that is reliable and sustainable for the passenger and the driver’s protection. The recorded video will be securely captured, stored, and encrypted. The system will be inaccessible while the vehicle is in commercial use to ensure there is no tampering or damage to the system. Drivers can switch the system off during private moments, as long as they are not transporting individuals for PHV or taxi work. Vehicle owners can choose and install their own CCTV systems as long the camera is approved by the council to meet the council’s requirements.
Although incidents involving taxis and private hire vehicles in Cambridge are rare, the introduction of CCTV across the fleet will provide additional assurance to both customers and drivers. It will act as a deterrent and provide clear evidence for any necessary investigations.
Due to concerns raised by the taxi trade regarding the implementation timeline, the councils have provided taxi and PHV drivers an extension as to the start of the mandatory policy. The policy was originally meant to begin on the 31st of March however, it was delayed to the 1st of September, thus giving drivers ample opportunity to research which system they would prefer to install and prepare their installations timetable
Cambridge Council and South Cambridge District Council have worked closely together to develop their policies to a similar nature, thus providing drivers with the opportunity to have a system that meets both standards. The South Cambridgeshire District Council moved forward with ensuring their policy was implemented from the 1st of April 2023 where ACSS has made a significant impact in providing drivers with a top-of-the-range system. Meeting all specification requirements set out by the council.
To summarize the requirements for the CCTV systems in Cambridge taxis and private hire vehicles:
The systems should be active whenever the vehicle is being used as a licensed vehicle but can be deactivated during private or personal use. The deactivation switch must be located in the vehicle’s luggage area and have a time delay, preventing immediate deactivation from inside the vehicle. The Privacy switch is set to shut the system down after 30 minutes as with the systems shut down process after the ignition has been turned off, providing drivers with additional vehicle coverage once they have left the vehicle while ensuring the battery life of their taxis or PHV remains health and undamaged.
The camera system should be capable of recording and storing a minimum of twenty-eight days of HD1 (720/288) size or better images. System should provide a continuous cycle recording, automatically overwriting old footage.
The system should provide clear images in various lighting conditions, including bright sunshine, shade, darkness, and strong backlight, without requiring additional components. Installation of cameras and system components should not obstruct the driver’s vision, view of mirrors, or normal vehicle operation.
The system should support up to four cameras, which may be necessary for larger vehicles, purpose-built vehicles, or capturing external images.
The systems must have the capability to record footage for a minimum of 28 days.
Audio recording can only be activated for three minutes if the driver or passenger feels unsafe and presses the panic button.
All captured footage will be protected and controlled by Cambridge Council. In the event of an incident, you will have 24 hours to report it to the council to gain access to the footage. The CCTV system can consist of up to four cameras, with approved systems available.
The council’s Licensing Team provided a list of all authorized agents by the manufacturer or supplier.
ACSS is among the licensed providers of CCTV systems for Cambridge Council. We provides CCTV solutions that fit taxis operator budget and meet the requirements of the council.
The CCTV system can be comprised of up to 4 cameras, see our approved systems below.