CCTV cameras in taxis have been used to provide evidence 18 times the Argus can reveal, including in a hit and run case and for footage in a firearm attack.

Brighton and Hove City Council were criticised for ordering that cameras had to be installed in private hire and Hackney carriages in 2010.

But six months after they were made mandatory in April 2012 they have proved useful, despite only 72% of Hackney carriage and 54% of private hire drivers agreeing with them.

At the end of June this year, a taxi was shot at with an air rifle after a gang of men refused to pay and the driver was also threatened with a knife – all of which was caught on camera.

CCTV also captured a driver being hit with a hammer at the end of May, as well as numerous non-payments and car crashes.

At the end of July this year a group of young people ran off without paying.

The driver grabbed hold of one of them, but his friends ran back and started throwing stones at the driver.

The council admitted that “anxieties continue to be expressed within the trade around the principal of installing CCTV and some of the detail”.

Approximately half of taxis now have CCTV but all are set to have it by 2013.

A Brighton and Hove City Council spokeswoman said: “The presence of CCTV in taxis is designed to keep both passengers and taxi drivers safe. The indications are so far that it is proving effective and we will continue to keep it under review.

“CCTV can be an important means of detecting and deterring crime and the council only looks at a relevant piece of footage if there has been a reported incident to a passenger or driver, and it must follow strict guidelines set out by the Information Commissioner.”

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