Mears Transportation GroupSouthamptonNew York City Taxi & Limousine CommissionQueensland TransportPingtung County (Taiwan) Police BureauTorontoBridlington, East YorkshireCity of Chicago
Bridlington, East Yorkshire
Bridlington is a small, but popular, seaside holiday resort in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Like many such towns, it has seen an increase in the number of fare bilking incidents, and assaults against taxi drivers, principally by drunk young men. The licensing authority was anxious to promote the safety of their taxis, particularly as a holiday season was approaching. In 2008, the town proposed to part-fund a pilot scheme of 10 cameras. By early 2009, there had been a spectacular decrease in the numbers of incidents and the police had used the images obtained from the cameras to gain speedy convictions against the perpetrators of two robbery attempts. In March 2009, the town purchased a further 20 cameras and is hoping to have all taxis and private hire vehicles equipped with cameras by 2010.
There are 80 licensed taxis and PHVs that serve the town and the surrounding region. Many of the attacks take place on edge-of-town caravan parks which are frequently ill-lit and the caravans can be difficult to locate. By the very nature of the rapidly changing holiday population, it has become increasingly difficult to identify the assailants; they are generally not locals. As a result there was a growing reluctance on the part of drivers to expose themselves to the risk of attack late at night. Any proposed solution had to be both reliable and secure, in order to protect both driver and passenger privacy. It had to be a visible deterrent and capable of producing images that would be admissible in a court. With the increase in the number of non-English drivers, audio would be desirable to provide evidence in the case of racially motivated threats.
VerifEye TaxiCam was selected by the East Riding of Yorkshire because of its demonstrable image quality, data security and reliability. The G5 camera head was specified so that they could have the benefit of audio; 2GB of memory was installed to give adequate storage of images and audio. The immediate availability of the cameras, and the close proximity of an established local installation service, made TaxiCam the preferred solution. The systems were installed in both hackney carriage and private hire vehicles in order that a six month evaluation could be conducted. The success of the 6-month pilot program was so clear that the town immediately proceeded to purchase a further 20 systems and is drawing up plans to equip all the hackneys and PHVs by 2010.