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Council's plan for 'snooper' squad
A council has been accused of trying to recruit an "army of snoopers" to report on their neighbours.
Harrow Council in north west London wants 2,000 people - one for every 100 residents - to sign up as a "Neighbourhood Champion" and report minor crimes, anti-social behaviour, litter and vandalism.
The council denied they were looking for "inveterate curtain twitchers".
A spokesman said they wanted to restore "old-fashioned community values". But critics said the scheme would lead to "less trust and more surveillance".
If the £70,000 plan is approved this week, officials will begin recruiting volunteers with the aim of starting the scheme next year.
Each one will be given training from town hall officials and police officers and issued with a manual setting out their role.
Once the scheme is up and running, they will be given access to a council website to record their reports.
Councillor Susan Hall said: "This is about extending more influence to our residents to help us deliver cleaner and safer streets.
"We have already invested in anti-social behaviour and cleaning teams, but the reality is that we are not always in a position to know when problems suddenly crop up.
But Alex Deane, director of campaign group Big Brother Watch, said the "Orwellian" scheme would create an "army of council snoopers".