Hamilton cabbie Calvin Linton baulked at the $5000 he had to pay to get his three taxis fitted with security cameras this year.
But after a teen who allegedly tried to beat him up was arrested because of images caught on a camera, he's now thinking the investment was worth it.
Mr Linton was attacked by two men in the driveway of a Glenview house early on September 18 when he asked if they had enough money to pay for their fare into town.
Until then, he had never been assaulted in his 18 years of driving cabs and thought that if an attack was likely, a camera wouldn't make a difference.
But the camera installed above the rear-vision mirror in his nine-seat Toyota Hi Ace van captured images of two men, which were shown on television on Tuesday night.
Within minutes of the broadcast, police began receiving phone calls, and yesterday morning an 18-year-old Hamilton youth, with a large neck tattoo, was arrested and charged with assault.
"I don't mind admitting I baulked at it [installing the cameras] to start with because it is not really going to stop anyone attacking me and that proved to be the point," said the 56-year-old.
"My argument at the time was it's not going to stop it happening and it didn't.
"But the other side of the coin is they [his attackers] had been caught on film and we got them. It's an expensive move but it's well worthwhile."
The father of four said that in the attack, he suffered bruising on the top of his head, under his left eye and around his left cheekbone but he returned to work immediately as it was busy in town.
"I wasn't going to let those little b******s spoil my night, being a Rugby World Cup night. They tried to get money out of me but I think my size prevented that and I was able to fend for myself - otherwise I would have been lying on the side of the road."
Taxi cameras became compulsory after Hiren Mohini was stabbed to death by a passenger last year in Auckland.
Cameras like those installed in Mr Linton's van take pictures every minute which are saved to a data card kept in a black box in the vehicle.
John Hart of the Taxi Federation said feedback had shown the cameras were successful in identifying offenders but also helped, in most cases, to act as a deterrent.
"People who might be tempted to cause some trouble are dissuaded from it knowing their pictures will be taken and stored away somewhere ... so they have been successful."
Mr Linton said cameras should be the extent to which security measures in taxis were taken. He had seen some taxis with shields installed and thought that was a bit much.By James Ihaka Email James