Child abuse survivor Sammy Woodhouse has welcomed Government plans to install CCTV equipment in taxis across the country.
Sammy, who was who was abused by gang-leader Arshid Hussain in Rotherham as a teenager, took her campaign to the Houses of Parliament after successfully fighting for policy changes in the town following the child sexual exploitation scnadal.
Prof Alexis Jay found that taxi drivers had been involved in transporting and abusing children in the town, when she published her report in 2014.
Since the equipment was made mandatory in Rotherham two years ago, Sammy has lobbied the transport minister to roll out the policy across the country.
And a report published this week, by the Government’s Task and Finish Group, said: “In the interests of passenger safety, particularly in the light of events in towns and cities like Rochdale, Oxford, Newcastle and Rotherham, all licensed vehicles must be fitted with CCTV (visual and audio) subject to strict data protection measures.”
Sammy said: “This is good news. It all started with the Rotherham Steering Group and I then contacted the Government asking them to look at it.
“It’s not just about the safety of passengers either, when you look at some of the grief that taxi drivers get, it will help them too.
“People are sometimes drunk when they get in taxis, people don’t pay and they make false accusiations. With CCTV, there will be evidence if a crime does occur.
“They have it on buses and trains so they should have it in taxis too.”
The report said a minority of drivers had abused their position of trust and CCTV ‘can reaffirm or increase passenger confidence’.
It added: “CCTV would not just protect passengers.
“In England and Wales, approximately 53 per cent of taxi and PHV drivers are non-white, a much higher than average percentage of the workforce.
“The group heard from the United Private Hire Drivers that 50 per cent of drivers it surveyed had been threatened or assaulted and that 57 per cent had been racially abused while working.”