UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

May 19, 2009

BRITJUNGEN SPY ON NEIGHBORS

Daily Mail - Children as young as seven are being recruited by councils to act as 'citizen snoopers', the Daily Mail can reveal. The 'environment volunteers' will report on litter louts, noisy neighbors - and even families putting their rubbish out on the wrong day.

There are currently almost 9,000 people signed up to the schemes. More are likely to be recruited in the coming months.

After basic training, volunteers are expected to be the 'eyes and the ears' of the town hall.

They are given information packs about how to collect evidence, including tips about writing down number plates, which could later be used in criminal prosecutions.

Luton Borough Council's Street Seen scheme encourages its 650 volunteers to report 'environmental concerns'. It is also recruiting 'Junior Street Champions', aged between seven and 11.

Primary schools could also be involved within two years.

Similarly, Islington Council in north London has recruited 1,200 'Islington Eyes' to report crime hotspots, fly-tipping [illegally dumping waste] and excess noise.

Volunteers are given a list of things to do when confronted with fly-tippers, including taking photos 'without being seen'.

Last year the council undertook a recruitment drive for youngsters aged nine and above, called Junior Eyes.

Children are given special books to write down reports on littering or graffiti in their schools, which they then send to the council.

Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: 'Community spirit is one thing, spying on your neighbours is quite another.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home