Google Street View arrives in Potters Bar

INTERNET users across the globe can now interactively walk through the residential streets of Potters Bar as the arrival of Google Street View hits the area.

The mapping system, which was first introduced in the United States in May 2007, enables webbers to see 360 degree detailed images of the area from street level.

To help with privacy issues, Google has removed some photos, and it also allows users to flag sensitive imagery for the site to review and remove, as well as automatically blurring faces and car number plates.

But John Godfrey, chairman of Potters Bar Crime Reduction Group, believes there is no need for the site and is calling on the Government to close it down.

He said: “Up and down the country people have commented it’s an invasion of a person’s privacy and I agree, criminals are going to look at it [from their own home] to see if there’s any easy access to homes.


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“I think it’s wrong, the Government should react to it. I don’t think it’s any help for residents.”

Long-serving Rotarian Mr Godfrey added he was worried it will make things easier for burglars, who he believes use Potters Bar as a stop off point on the M25.

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“Now that it is already in service it should be a wake-up call to residents to improve the security of their homes.

“Residents should log on to Google Street View and review their home’s security.

“They can get help from Herts police if need be,” he said.

Not every road in Potters Bar has been captured by Google’s Camera Car and a spokeswoman for the company didn’t know when other areas were to be captured.

She added Google takes privacy very seriously and respects people may not want imagery of their house, car or selves featured on the service.

She said: “The imagery available is no different from what people can see when walking down the street themselves or when viewing images which are already widely available on a number of real estate and directory sites.

“The imagery is not in real time and reflects simple a moment in time.

“Saying that Street View is enabling crime is like blaming the motor industry for crime because criminals also use getaway cars.”

What do you think?

Contact Simon Wesson on 01707 384185 or simon.wesson@whtimes.co.uk

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