A FLEET of taxis are to be fitted with CCTV cameras following two knifepoint attacks on cabbies.
Basildon-based company A&B Taxis is proposing to fit all 150 of its vehicles with the cameras to help prevent further attacks or catch crooks targeting drivers red-handed on film.
After one of the firm’s drivers was recently stabbed in a terrifying attack, Gary Brand – one of the owners of A&B – met with his employees to discuss their safety.
They have agreed to install the specially designed cameras in each of their vehicles. Staff will take a vote on the proposals next week.
The cameras will cost £960 per vehicle to install and the company will foot half of the bill while drivers will be asked to pay the rest.
Despite the expense, Mr Brand said the safety of his staff and customers was priceless. He said: “It has become a nightmare out there for taxi drivers and it’s sad we are having to do this.
“But we care for the safety of the people we employ and also we want the public to know our cabs are safe.
“These cameras will be in the public’s interest, as people can feel safe in the knowledge the cab they will be travelling in has cameras and audio equipment recording everything. So if something happens we will have the evidence to take to court if necessary.”
The move has received the backing of A&B drivers as well as taxi industry officials.
Dave Downton, chairman of the Basildon Private Hire Association, said: “This is a positive thing and I think every other cab driver in the area should have CCTV in their taxis.”
A Value Cars driver was allegedly threatened and robbed at knifepoint in Ryedene Close, Vange at 2.50am on Monday.
A 24-year-old man has been charged with theft in connection with the incident and will appear in court later this month.
It comes after a 31-year-old A&B driver was stabbed by a gang of robbers in Redgrave Road, Vange at 10pm on Friday February 10. Three men have been arrested and bailed in connection with that attack.