Taxis in Oxford could have large numbers stuck on their roofs so they can be seen by police and CCTV operators.What?!? Why?
Police officers said taxis were occasionally used by criminals and large numbers on the roofs would make them easier to track down in a chase.As Sad But Mad Lad points out, buses and private cars are occasionally used by criminals. Should they all have numbers on the roof?
They pitched the idea at a meeting with representatives from the city taxi trade last week, but were met with a mixed reaction.
I’m concerned the answer might be ‘Yes’, from a certain quarter...
The trade seeks to bat this away with worries about cost and logistics.
Alan Woodward, secretary of the City of Oxford Licensed Taxi Cab Association, said: “Drivers were concerned paint work might start to deteriorate and were concerned it would devalue their cars.No, no, no! What you should be raising, Mr Woodward, is the ludicrous nature of the plans and the appalling overreach of the police in demanding this.
“There needs to be some more investigation done into the type of material that’s going to be used.”
He added the numbers could leave a dull area on the vehicles’ roofs and they would have to be re-sprayed before being sold.
Mr Woodward said drivers were also concerned if numbers went missing or peeled off police might trace the wrong car by mistake.
Not worrying about the costs.
Det Sgt Linsdell said: “We would like to do it with the co-operation of the trade and with the support of our partners. I have taken the idea to the trade and asked them to consider the issues.So would requesting every citizen wear a tracking collar. That doesn’t make it right…
“Personally, I think it would be a good idea. People who commit serious crimes may leave the scene in a taxi or private hire car and this would assist us to trace them at an early stage of the enquiry.”
He also said CCTV in the city did not always pick up number plate details.Two cases? Two cases that you don’t even claim would have definitely been solved by this measure?
He said: “I can think of two cases last year that my team dealt with where serious offences took place and taxis were part of the investigation. If we had been able to identify the taxis at an early stage the chances of success would have improved.”
Get out of here!
Julian Alison, Oxford City Council’s licensing team leader, said: “Oxford City Council’s licensing team is working with the police and local taxi companies to look at taking this forward.And who cares if it’s window-dressing to provide an easy life for lazy cops, done under the guise of ‘a better service’?
“We are interested in assisting any initiative that will help make Oxford a safer place to visit, work and live in.”
Or if it makes Oxford just that little bit less free?