After a minicab driver was stabbed at the weekend in Swindon, some drivers are calling for help with the cost of CCTV in their cars.

Rana Khan, the chairman of the Swindon Drivers’ Association, which represents private house vehicle drivers, says that Swindon Borough Council should help his members out with the costs.

Other drivers, including those of hackney carriages, those cabs which can be picked up from a rank on the street, tended to agree.

Mike Thatcher, who was operating from a rank outside Swindon railway station said: “The council are bringing in that we have to have CCTV in the cars as part of the licensing condition. It may be coming that we can’t operate without it.”

And Mr Thatcher had a suggestion about how the cost might be managed: “Perhaps the borough council can buy the equipment and install it - and we the drivers can rent it off them. That would get round the worry of having to maintain it. If you have to have it then if it’s not working you won’t be able to drive - but if you’re renting it form the council, then they’d be able to fix it for you. But we’d still be paying for it.”

Another driver John said: "I’m not in favour of cctv in the first place. I think there’s an invasion of privacy issue. If you’re going to have it, then it’ll have to be on all the time- so if I take my wife shopping, it will be on and I don’t think that’s right.

“If drivers are going to be made to have CCTV installed, then I think the council should help to pay for it. There are a lot of areas where taxpayers’ money is wasted, all sorts of thing - this would be about actually keeping people safe and stopping crime. But overall I’m not in favour of it.”

Officers from Swindon Borough Council and taxi firms and drivers have been in negotiations over whether to make cameras mandatory in all Swindon’s taxis and private hire vehicles.

Kathryn Ashton, licensing manager at Swindon Borough Council, said: “We want mandatory cameras in taxis and private hire cars to have a policy put in place with time-zone conditions.

“There will be a consultation process to allow everyone the opportunity to speak and voice their concern.

“If this decision is passed there will be clear guidelines of what is acceptable, and a document will be created on approved fitters for the drivers.”

She added: “In theory this will reduce investigations for the licensing committee due to the passenger and driver both knowing the car is fitted with CCTV cameras.”

The cost to drivers would be about £600 for the equipment to be fitted.

Other licensing authorities around the country such as Sheffield, Rochdale and Southampton have already made in-car CCTV mandatory.

A Swindon Borough Council spokesman said: “This policy is currently out for consultation and a final decision will not be made until it is brought before the Licensing Committee later in the year.

"The function of licensing is to protect the public and this measure is being considered because it will protect both taxi drivers and their customers.

“As the cameras will be installed in private vehicles, it is not recommended that they be bought using public funds.”

Police are still appealing for witnesses or anyone with any information about the stabbing of a driver in Swindon on Saturday morning. The 40-year-old driver picked up a woman and two men from Suju nightclub in Old Town just before 5.30am on Saturday and was taking them to Park North.

After an argument, the driver stopped the journey in Dawlish Road, at which point one of the men stabbed the driver in the leg and the trio ran off in the direction of Radstock Road.

Anyone with any imformation about the assault should contact Wiltshire Police on 101 or can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.