Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan has backed calls for improved camera surveillance in Perth taxis following a series of disturbing reports of assaults in cabs.
Earlier this week the Taxi Industry Board reignited debate when it disclosed new measures including providing every metropolitan cab with an upgraded camera system.
The information was outlined in a letter provided to The West Australian by the friend of a mother of two who says she was indecently assaulted by a taxi driver in August.
This morning Mr O’Callaghan told 6PR’s morning program he was concerned about serious assaults occurring against both passengers and taxi drivers.
He said clear CCTV images released by the Public Transport Authority recently helped catch a man accused of raping two women at Perth train stations and taxis required similar safety measures.
“We don’t have that same capacity in taxis and I think that’s a significant risk for us as a community,” Mr O’Callaghan said.
“One of the problems we have with the taxis CCTV system is it’s very old, it’s technology is old, the image is not clear and I think we need to do something significantly soon to try and bring that up to date.
“I’m concerned about two things, I’m concerned about the assaults on particularly women, but also men by taxi drivers themselves and we’ve seen some really significant examples of that in recent times.
"I’m also concerned the other way round, about assaults on taxi drivers by people who are getting into taxis.