CCTV cameras have helped put the brakes on crime in Dunfermline’s taxis - with 500 incidents dropping to just one since they were installed.
Cameras were put in 35 vehicles as part of a pilot project launched last May aimed at protecting drivers and their passengers.
Prior to the installation, there were around 500 incidents a year, mostly involving fare-dodgers and assaults on cabbies - but only one crime has been reported since.
John Aitchison, chair of the West Fife Taxi Owners’ Association, said the cameras made drivers feel safer and helped cut down on passengers doing a runner.
The owner of Rosyth-based A1 TCH Taxis told the Dunfermline Press: “The general feeling is that it’s a good thing and there certainly appears to have been a fall in crime.
“The police have been a bit more proactive as well, which has helped.
“There have always been incidents, though not in the hundreds, but certainly there appears to have been a drop in the number of people trying to dodge their fares.
“We had people getting out of cabs and running away and there have been occasional cases of people being aggressive towards drivers. It’s always a concern for us being out at night.
“It would be great if it could be rolled out across all taxis and would certainly be a step forward.”
Dunfermline Central councillor Bob Young, who helped set up the CCTV scheme with the police, was “delighted” with the results.
He said, “We were hoping for a 50 per cent reduction in crime and we got nearly 100 per cent.
“There were over 500 crimes reported in the same period in the previous year and we went down to one.
“It was mostly runners and taxi drivers being assaulted, but that’s all stopped now.
“There’s a knock-on effect as well on police time and court time. For a police officer investigating a crime, it takes away resources. but the first thing when folk are caught on CCTV, they hold their hands up.
“I’m more than delighted - I wasn’t expecting the return that we got on it. The CCTVs are only £20 a piece so it’s not like they’re overly expensive to put in.
“I’ll be recommending it to other area committees to take it up.”