The National Police have warned Palma taxi drivers that they will be breaking the law if they instal security cameras in their cars. Because of the recent wave of assaults, many drivers have been looking at putting in cameras.
The police are advising the drivers that the cameras are subject to data protection laws and that they risk being fined a minimum of 3,000 euros. Under data protection legislation, authorisation for cameras has to come from the state security forces. Installation has to be undertaken by certified security companies, and these companies are the only ones who can access images; not drivers themselves, therefore. Moreover, the cameras have to be trained inside the car, not outside on the public way.
Biel Moragues, the president of one of the taxi drivers associations, says that measures have to be taken but accepts that these must be within the law. He suggests, however, that the law isn't entirely clear and so can be open to misinterpretation.
Palma town hall, which has indicated its willingness to finance video surveillance, is being criticised for not having set up any self-defence training courses, which it had said it would do more than a year ago. Another measure, the installation of anti-vandalism screens, had also been promised. A problem with this is that there are no official installers in Majorca.
Mayor Antoni Noguera and transport councillor Joan Ferrer are due to meet taxi driver representatives on Monday. Meanwhile, the public safety councillor, Angelica Pastor, said yesterday that free self-defence courses run by the National Police will be made available. She added that the town hall will subsidise the cost of installing protective screens and security cameras and is working "actively" with the National Police on these measures.
Pastor also praised cooperation between Palma police and the National Police which has resulted in the "swift detention" of those responsible for the attacks on taxi drivers.