Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Big Brother recruits cameraphone users

Filed under
Sci/Tech

A UK firm today unveiled plans for a service that allows members of the public to send pictures of antisocial behaviour to local authorities using mobile phones.

Citizens are being encouraged to take mobile snaps of anti-social behaviour such as graffiti, abandoned cars and fly-tipping where it is possible to do so without endangering their safety.

The images should be sent to local Anti-Social Behaviour (ABS) units, newly formed groups of local representatives that work in association with the police and local councils.

The service from mobile imaging firm Youview will be launched on 1 August, and people will be able to text or MMS their picture and location details to a central number.

They will then receive a text reply telling them to go to a website where they will be given details of any action taken by their local ASB unit.

Although some critics have described the scheme as a mandate for turning members of the public into sneaks and snoopers, Fiona Brownsell, chief executive at Youview, said: "We can't have enough police on the street to monitor everything.

"I believe that communities will welcome the opportunity to report behaviour in this way; it is not about making people vigilantes."

Usage will be monitored to see whether it would be popular to allow anonymous submissions, and Brownsell said that the use in court of photos from mobile phones is being investigated.

She added that taking photos of graffiti could be of use because it would provide a record of 'tagging', the use of specific symbols by graffiti artists known to the police.

Brownsell admitted that it is currently difficult to get details on the ASB units active in specific areas. "They are in the process of being formed," she explained. "That information will be available later."

By Ken Young
vnunet.com

More in Tux Machines

The subtle art of the Desktop

The history of the Gnome and KDE desktops go a long way back and their competition, for the lack of a better term, is almost as famous in some circles as the religious divide between Emacs and Vi. But is that competition stil relevant in 2016? Are there notable differences between Gnome and KDE that would position each other on a specific segment of users? Having both desktops running on my systems (workstation + laptop) but using really only one of them at all times, I wanted to find out by myself. My workstation and laptop both run ArchLinux, which means I tend to run the latest stable versions of pretty much any desktop software. I will thus be considering the latest stable versions from Gnome and KDE in this post. Historically, the two environments stem from different technical platforms: Gnome relies on the GTK framework while KDE, or more exactly the Plasma desktop environment, relies on Qt. For a long time, that is until well into the development of the Gnome 3.x platform, the major difference was not just technical, it was one of style and experience. KDE used to offer a desktop experience that was built along the lines of Windows, with a start center on the bottom left, a customizable side bar, and desktop widgets. Gnome had its two bars on the top and bottom of the screen, and was seemingly used as the basis for the first design of Mac OS X, with the top bar offering features that were later found in the Apple operating system. Read more

Xubuntu 16.04.1 LTS Released, Upgrade Path from Xubuntu 14.04 LTS Now Open

The first point release of the Xubuntu 16.04 LTS computer operating system has been officially published as part of the Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS (Xenial Xerus) announcement earlier in the week. Read more

Oracle Outs VirtualBox 5.1.2 with Better Support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5

Oracle announced the release of the first maintenance update to the VirtualBox 5.1 series of the open-source and cross-platform virtualization software for all supported computer operating systems. Read more

Internet of Things Web Editor Open Source Project Started

The StackSavings Web Editor has recently been launched as an open source project. The aim of the project is to be a Web Editor for the Internet of Things. The IoT web editor is built on Amazon Web Services cloud platform and is working toward the goal of providing an easy to use web editor interface. Read more