7 October 2009

Rewards and good old-fashioned crime-fighting

I must admit that the idea for the new website called Internet Eyes, that The Caped Crimestopper blogged so passionately about yesterday, left me feeling a little bit disturbed too.

I’m all for a good spot of community spirit and getting criminals out of our neighbourhoods, but the idea of signing-up to a website, having CCTV ‘streamed’ onto your computer and clicking to report suspected crimes sounds like a bit of a kerfuffle to me. Not to mention being unethical, tedious and bad for your eyes… I don’t know about you but my eyesight is not what it used to be. And it’s not just this blinking mask I have to wear either.

The idea of ‘winning’ £1,000 makes crime-fighting seem like a game, which it certainly is not. However, receiving money for solving crimes is not a new idea. The charity Crimestoppers pays cash rewards of up to £1,000 if the information someone gives to them leads to a criminal being arrested and charged.

Some people do want and need the reward money for passing on information about crime and in my opinion, that’s absolutely fine. If that’s what it takes to get criminals off our streets, then rewards should jolly well be paid out. But whereas Internet Eyes pays £1,000 for playing crime as a game and doesn’t even guarantee that criminals may not even be taken off the streets, Crimestoppers only pays cash rewards if criminals are arrested and charged.

What’s more, Crimestoppers have found that most people aren’t even motivated by money when they pass on information about crime. Only 2% of people who give information to the charity actually claim a reward. Now that’s what I call the genuine crime-fighting spirit!

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