STRONGER policing and not CCTV is what is needed to hit back at the violence against taxi drivers, according to one cabbies' group.

Bill Williams, of Bolton Taxi Drivers Association, said he would hand over his cab to police for a night so they can see the problems first-hand - and make some arrests.

Two of the town's other taxi organisations had called for CCTV to be introduced in cabs. But Mr Williams said CCTV would not stop violence committed outside the vehicle. "There's no way on earth CCTV is going to stop someone throwing bricks at you," he said.

"For certain things it would be a deterrent but when you have people smashed out of their skull, a five million watt spotlight wouldn't make a difference."

Bolton Council's taxis consultative panel has agreed to put the provision of CCTV back on its agenda in response to calls from Bolton Hackney Association and Bolton Private Hire Association.

However, Mr Williams said: "CCTV doesn't arrest people, policemen can.

"Even when police are there they aren't enforcing the law strongly enough.

"When we make a phone call to a police station it just goes into a black hole."

Police say four officers have been designated as a point-of-contact for taxi drivers and have assured people they do act whenever violence is used or threatened.

But Mr Williams estimates there are at least 1,000 incidents per year against the borough's 106 black cabs alone and he says private hire drivers are just as badly hit.

He said he wanted to loan a cab to police to carry out a covert operation to catch yobs who throw stones.

"We could launch an operation during the school holidays in the summer when we have the most trouble," he added.