A taxi driver says plans for CCTV in cabs is for the benefit of passengers only.
Bradley cabbie Muhammad Naeem says cameras wouldn’t have picked up a man who recently kicked and dented his car after trying to avoid paying the full fare.
He said: “This idea of the councils is for the safety of passengers.
“Whenever something dangerous has happened to me, the passenger has been outside of the taxi, cameras don’t cover that.”
This week Kirklees councillors agreed to hold a public consultation on introducing video and sound recordings in taxis in a bid to crack down on crime.
Mr Naeem already has cameras in his cab, which he bought. But incidents have taken place outside his cab.
Sound and video footage recorded in the early hours of November 16 shows him taking two males and two females from McDonalds in Huddersfield town centre to Lower Cumberworth.
Sound footage reveals the passengers agree to pay £20 in advance and then either get change or pay the remainder of what’s on the metre, which was an extra £4.
The passengers then dispute agreeing to pay anything above £20, tell him he’s committing fraud by asking for payment upfront, claim one of the party works for the police, then threaten to call the police, which Mr Naeem tells them to.
One of the party calls the police and they agree to pay £2. They then get out of the taxi, the party hang around and as Mr Naeem moves to drive away a bang can be heard. Mr Naeem got out of his car and saw a dent above his wheel arch.
Mr Naeem said: “When things have happened I’ve recorded them on my mobile phone. But I can’t record every angle of the taxi.”
After police told Mr Naeem there was nothing they could do over the damage to his vehicle, he complained and a sergeant has said they will investigate.
Mr Naeem says CCTV in his cab has previously helped him return items to passengers who forgot them. He’s returned Playstations, £1000 in cash and shopping.
In June 2015 he filmed a thug on his mobile phone as he was dragged to the floor from his vehicle and repeatedly kicked by a thug following an argument over an unpaid fare. He has also been racially abused and threatened by a passenger who then kicked a dent in his cab and ran off.
Sohail Rashid, from Kirklees Hackney Carriage Association, told councillors this week the trade was happy to have cameras, but added: “The only issue we have is making it mandatory – it should be left to the individual driver.”
Kirklees Council is holding a public consultation, which runs until February 3. Details are at http://www.kirklees.gov.uk/involve/entry.aspx?id=860