STATE-of-the-art CCTV cameras could be installed in all Bournemouth taxis, in a bid to protect both drivers and passengers.

Licensing chiefs will consider a proposal that could require taxi drivers to pay £15 a month to have cameras fitted in their cabs.

It follows a series of incidents, in which taxi drivers have been held at gunpoint, attacked with CS spray, subjected to racist abuse, spat at, punched and kicked and threatened.

Under the plans, Bournemouth council would buy the CCTV camera system, which costs between £600 and £700 per vehicle, and lease it to taxi owners for around £15 per month.

A report to Bournemouth’s licensing committee, states: “CCTV cameras provide protection for both drivers and passengers in a number of situations.

“They deter assaults, theft and non-payment by passengers and protect passengers from inappropriate actions of drivers. Digital evidence with video and audio recording can be used to prove or disprove the content of complaints made to the council.”

The cost, which works out at around 75 pence per day, is “a reasonable cost when considering public and driver safety.”

The CCTV footage would only be accessible to investigating officers and would only be accessed to investigate criminal offences.

If councillors on the licensing committee approve the proposal, it will be a condition of taxi licences that owners install the CCTV cameras and produce copies when requested by a licensing officer or police officer.

Alternatively, councillors could reject the proposal outright or suggest a period of consultation.

Yesterday’s licensing committee was cancelled so the issue will be considered at the next meeting.