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Britain has 4.2 million closed circuit TV cameras videoing the average citizen 300 times per day. About the only comfort most citizens of Albion have is that nobody has time to watch all those cameras all the time.

But now a group of entrepreneurs has come up with a great scheme to snatch away even that tiny shred of privacy: recruit Internet users (first from the EU, then the world) to compete for cash prizes by watching the live video and report crimes to local camera operators.

The business, called Internet Eyes, is running a trial operation in Stratford-on-Avon and expects to go nationwide in Britain in November.

As background, the UK has seen its violent crime statistics rise in recent years. Conservatives (the Opposition party since 1997) and tabloid newspapers hammer on that. There could be some statistical issues with those numbers (compiled by the Conservatives) since a street fight is logged as a violent crime there, whereas in other countries it’s only considered a violent crime if there is an injury.

Guardian story here.

According to comparative date from the United Nations, the U.S has a homicide rate more than three times higher then the UK (42.8 per 100k in the U.S. and 14.1 per 100k in the UK.)

Numbers here.

Tom Kelchner