'Environmental volunteers' will be encouraged to spy on their neighbours
When a citizen sees some other citizen do something wrong - like dropping litter - one might expect them tp perhaps mention it to the offender. "Excuse me but you've dropped this paper" - or if they were to come across some paper maybe they would just pick it up and pop it in the bin - very 'citizenly'. Sometimes it's the right thing to report on people and actions to authorities but signing up with council to become an official environmental snoop just doesn't feel right somehow.
Advertisements looking for people to sign up for the unpaid "environmental volunteer" jobs have been posted across the country in recent months.
Critics said the scheme is encouraging a Big Brother society where friends and neighbours will be encouraged to "snoop" on one another.
The recruitment drive follows news that the Home Office is granting police powers to council staff and private security guards, allowing then to hand out fines for low-scale offences and ask for personal details.
Matthew Elliott, of the Taxpayers' Alliance, said: "Snooping on your neighbours to report recycling infringements sounds like something straight out of the East German Stasi's copybook.
"With council tax so high, the last thing people want to pay for is an army of busybodies peering through their net curtains at their neighbours as they put out their rubbish."