Safer taxi queues thanks to body worn CCTV

Taxi marshals in Cheltenham are equipped with the latest body worn CCTV cameras.

The busy Promenade rank serves an average of around 1500 people each weekend and considerably more during special events such as the Festivals and Gold Cup race meeting. Taxi ranks have historically been hot spots for disorder and the introduction of the marshals in 2009 has led to a considerable reduction in incidents.

The new cameras - which are already in use by police officers in a number of forces - are able to record high resolution video and audio. Their use is intended to support the work of the marshals by demonstrating to the public that their actions could be recorded, leading to fewer assaults on marshals, taxi drivers and members of the public.  The cameras will supplement the radio link that the marshals have to the police.

Colin Pilsworth, the council’s community protection officer said: "Areas such as busy taxi ranks can be hot spots for disorder because of the high numbers of people gathering in one place at the end of a night out. The marshals have a tough job and can be exposed to unacceptable behaviour. The cameras will offer increased protection and hopefully drive down instances of anti-social behaviour."

Councillor Andrew McKinlay, cabinet member for safety added: "Cheltenham is well known for its great bars and clubs and we have a thriving night-time economy. Key to this is a feeling of personal safety for those working and those enjoying a night out. I am pleased that the taxi marshals will now be equipped with these state of the art body worn cameras."

The new cameras have been purchased by Cheltenham Nightsafe, with funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner's 'Safe days and nights for all' initiative.

Cheltenham Nightsafe is the crime reduction partnership for the night-time economy of Cheltenham with members including bars, clubs, fast food outlets and late night convenience stores.