Comment: It’s only right that cabbies are protected

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the violence faced by many workers who deal with the public for a living is a major blight on modern society.

We are sadly used to reading about the appalling levels of physical abuse faced by shop assistants, NHS staff and other public sector workers, such as police officers. Any and all violence directed against them is totally unacceptable and we must do everything we can to stop it.

But the risks that taxi drivers face as they go about their daily business in the city is often 
overlooked.

It is easy to forget that these men and women drive to every neighbourhood at all hours of the day and night carrying strangers who might be – sometimes unbeknown to the driver – under the influence of drink or drugs.

Attacks on cabbies are fairly regular occurrences, as well as passengers disappearing without paying their fare.

But while hospitals, shops and many public places are covered by closed-circuit televsion, that is one form of protection not currently afforded to taxi drivers. It is only right that it should be.

It will not solve the problem entirely, but a simple warning that they are being recorded on CCTV will be a powerful deterrent to many criminals. And any images that are captured will be of great assistance to the police in tracking down those responsible.

Some people will feel uncomfortable about the idea of being recorded as they take their journey, but it is no different from being filmed at a football game, in a car park or as we walk down the street.

Of course, there must be stringent rules in place to ensure that any footage recorded is not abused. That, however, should be a straightforward matter given our widespread experience with security cameras.

The safety of the driver is far more important than any unease we might have about being watched by Big Brother.