SCOTS cabbies are fitting CCTV cameras because so many passengers “do a runner” at the end of their journey.
Taxi drivers in Fife are hit more than 1,500 times a year by dishonest customers who leave without paying, costing them thousands of pounds.
So cabbies, police and the local council have come up with a pilot project to install cameras and catch fare dodgers red handed.
Bob Young, a councillor in the Dunfermline Central ward and chairman of the council’s regulation and licensing committee, said the pilot scheme would offer “protection” for both taxi drivers and the public.
“We have been told by the taxi association that they have had around 1500 runners from taxis in the last year, these people would be caught.
“We’ve had taxi drivers assaulted, the perpetrators of that would be caught.
“We’re at the time of year where a lot of people are going out; with CCTV installed in taxis it would give young ladies who end up getting worse for wear extra protection as well.
“Initially, I would be happy to fund the pilot project to prove its worth, then go to the taxi association with that proof and say ‘Here are the effects.’
“The reason we got the purple flag is because we are getting safer, we have pubs and clubs on board, police are assisting us and it would be great to have this as well.”
Police Sergeant Neil McGurk, who is leading the initiative said that he hoped the project will be running “within a few weeks.”
He said: “We had a meeting with the taxi association and they are fully behind it.
“There are a few minor issues to iron out but I am confident it will be happening.”