Anyone with a laptop can become a crimefighter, with a new computer link-up.
The video vigilante service delivers real-time CCTV footage of shop floors and town centres to subscribers’ home computers.
Viewers can then win prizes of up to £1,000 from operator Internet Eyes if they spot any law-breaking on the thousands of cameras streamed from across Britain.
Shop owners pay £20 per week or £1,000 a year to ensure CCTV cameras in their premises broadcast footage to Internet Eyes, which then forwards it to subscribers.
More than 13,000 people have already indicated their interest in the project, but they must be over 18 and pay £12.99 or £1.99 to view.
The Devon-based firm gives cash prizes each month to citizens who spot the most criminals.
But civil liberties campaigners say the idea is “distasteful” and encourages citizens to spy on each other. Internet Eyes boss Tony Morgan said: “If subscribers see anything suspicious, they can press the Alert button. This sends an instant text and picture message to the shop manager, who then decides what action to take. All you can see is the tops of people’s heads.”