In-car CCTV is being fitted in taxis and private hire cars in the Levenmouth and Kirkcaldy areas to keep passengers and drivers safe.
The move follows the success of a pilot scheme introduced by Fife Council and Police Scotland in Dunfermline earlier this year.
Levenmouth and Kirkcaldy area committees have agreed to use local community planning budgets to fund cameras in their patches.
Using highly visible cameras and signage, the scheme aims to reduce crime – and the fear of crime – associated with taxi travel; improve the safety of both drivers and passengers; improve standards of drivers; and improve the behaviour of passengers.
Councillor Bob Young, chairman of the licensing and regulation committee, said: “The pilot in Dunfermline showed that CCTV in taxis and private hire cars reduced crime associated with the trade. We’ve had positive feedback from the public who felt safer knowing they were protected by CCTV in much the same way as when they use buses and trains.”
During the pilot in Dunfermlinem 43 crimes associated with taxis were reported but only three involved taxis fitted with CCTV, demonstrating cameras are an effective deterrent.
PC Graeme Walker, Police Scotland’s safer travel liaison officer, said: “Both Fife Council and Police Scotland promote taxis and private hire cars as a safe mode of transport and this initiative will further increase security and provide reassurance to both passengers and drivers.”
Peter Meldrum, a taxi operator based in Leven, believes the cameras are needed for the good of both drivers and the public.
He said: “Taxi drivers have been assaulted, robbed and have had false allegations and insurance claims made against them. I think there’s definitely a need for CCTV in taxis.”