Children as young as seven are being recruited by councils to act as ‘citizen snoopers’, the Daily Mail can reveal.
The ‘environment volunteers’ will report on litter louts, noisy neighbours – and even families putting their rubbish out on the wrong day.
There are currently almost 9,000 people signed up to the schemes. More are likely to be recruited in the coming months.
Controversially, some councils are running ‘junior’ schemes which are recruiting children.
After basic training, volunteers are expected to be the ‘eyes and the ears’ of the town hall.
They are given information packs about how to collect evidence, including tips about writing down numberplates, which could later be used in criminal prosecutions.
Luton Borough Council’s Street Seen scheme encourages its 650 volunteers to report ‘environmental concerns’. It is also recruiting ‘Junior Street Champions’, aged between seven and 11.
Primary schools could also be involved within two years.
Similarly, Islington Council in north London has recruited 1,200 ‘Islington Eyes’ to report crime hotspots, fly-tipping and excess noise from DIY.