The Metropolitan Police is hoping to use crowd-sourcing to identify people suspected of committing crimes in last year's riots in London.Officers are to upload up to 2,800 CCTV images taken during thedisorder in August on to its smartphone app.
What's particularly striking about this scheme is the scale:
"My hope is that the two-thirds of Londoners who own smartphones will download this app, and help us identify people we still need to speak to.We need Londoners to browse through the app every week or so as new images will appear regularly. This is a fantastic way for Londoners tohelp us to fight crime."
In the case of the London riots, the CCTV images may be relativelyunequivocal about crimes being committed; but the new scheme isalready being extended beyond those exceptional events:
The app will also include a further 2,000 images of people wanted by the police for offences not connected to the riots.
That's worrying because there is no way of knowing what these peopleare accused of -- they might, for example, be involved in legitimatestreet protests against the UK government, or against multinationalcorporations in the UK, both of which have been subject tocontroversial policing in the capital.