6 October 2009

Internet Eyes: When ‘I spy’ goes too far

I could not believe my bat-eyes when I saw a scheme in the news today appealing for people to play an online crime game, under the pretence of fighting crime.

‘Internet Eyes’ streams CCTV footage to anyone who signs up to the website and encourages them to spot and report crimes. These internet spies can receive a £1,000 prize for the part they play in reporting the so-called crimes they see.

Turning crime into a game? I am shocked. Fighting crime is not a game and the Internet Eyes website undermines the work others do, such as myself, to take criminals out of communities.

We will not save our communities from crime by sitting glued to our computer screens, waiting for a crime to take place. Or potentially accusing innocent members of the public from looking ‘suspicious’ and committing crimes they have not.

I for one will not be sitting at my computer, watching hours of CCTV footage, reporting incidents that may or may not be crimes taking place. With a dramatic swish of my cape I will turn my back on such a scheme and will instead encourage others to follow my example. Fight crime without revealing your identity. Online crime games are not for superheroes like us.

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