THE NEW pilot scheme to introduce CCTV to taxis could help prevent assaults and robberies such as the one which happened in Abbeyview last month.

John Aitchison, of the West Fife Taxi Owners’ Association, said CCTV in cabs could help protect drivers from “the small minority who spoil it”.

Last month, the Press told you how two men got into the rear of a cab around 11pm on 8th November in the Bute Crescent area.

One presented a weapon at the driver and demanded cash. The driver handed over a three-figure sum of money and the two men made off.

This week, Mr Aitchison told the Press, “Certainly CCTV is an excellent idea and it would make life safer for drivers.

“We’re out there at all times and it can be dangerous and it would help prevent such incidents.

“The vast majority of our fares are honest, decent people but there tends to be a small minority who spoil it.

“CCTV would make drivers feel safer.

“The scheme’s being evaluated and once the process is finished I’m sure there will be discussions.” In May, the Press brought you the story about the project, with police officers ready to deliver the first handover of cameras to 17 West Fife drivers.

It is hoped that if successful, the scheme – aimed at protecting taxi drivers from dropped fares and attacks – will become standard across all West Fife cabs.

Councillor Bob Young, chair of Fife Council’s regulation and licensing committee, said, “Dunfermline taxi operators are leading the way in making taxis as safe as they can be having recently completed a pilot scheme to introduce CCTV to cabs.

“While the full evaluation is still to be completed, this initiative has proven popular with both drivers and customers helping people feel safe.” The council has also announced that passengers are in safe hands this festive season, after inspections showed West Fife’s licensed taxi and private hire vehicles are in “excellent” working order.

Reports to the regulation and licensing committee showed that all 107 vehicles inspected in the area passed first time.

Cllr Young added, “I’m delighted at the 100 per cent pass rate achieved.

“We’ve been driving it home to taxi operators throughout Fife that we will accept nothing less than excellent customer service and safety levels.

“The pass rate for November 2013 was 95 per cent so this year’s increase in pass rates shows that operators are working with us and continuing to maintain their vehicles to the high standards expected.

“On behalf of the committee, I’d like to congratulate the operators on their high standards of maintenance, which is always important for passenger safety, and never more so than in these winter months.”