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Minicab firm to video late-night customers as they order cabs
Clubbers and drinkers are set to be videotaped as they order minicabs in Kingston town centre from potentially as early as next week.
Images from the three late night kiosks will be beamed back to the head office of Kingston’s main cab firm in Cambridge Road.
Raj Nanda, the director of Kingston Area Cars, which has the contract for the kiosks, said they would protect customers and drivers.
He said: “They will work by deterring and reducing crime. If you know there are cameras you are not going to do anything silly.”
The images will not be monitored live but will be recorded so could be useful for identification purposes by police.
Mr Nanda, who started his cab company in 2009, said that although recording devices are illegal inside taxis and minicabs, there was a Transport for London consultation on the issue.
The kiosk cameras are expected to be installed next week with engineers arriving on Monday or Tuesday, pending issues with broadband.
Kingston Area Cars won a contract from Kingstonfirst to run the kiosks in the town centre where late night revellers queue up to get a lift home.
The kiosks, by Kingston bridge, Kingston station and outside the Hippodrome nightclub are designed to clear the town centre as quickly as possible and keep drinkers safe.
Other firms are not allowed to pick up passengers in the town centre unless they are hired by phone.
Kingstonfirst chief executive Ros Morgan said: "The addition of CCTV to the mini-cab kiosks is another positive step forward for our safe-cab scheme that last year alone ensured 25,000 visitors returned home safely after a night out in Kingston town centre."
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