Police across the nation are taking up the Prime Minister’s baton to promote an initiative to combat illicit drug use which they say has got out of control as unemployment has climbed and boredom has set in across the suburbs and rural towns.
“There is no surprise that police are frustrated with an apparent lack of neighbourly love eating away at the Prime Minister’s core values so we welcome the attention,” said a representative of state police forces in Canberra this week.
“Police are encouraging households to report any suspicions regarding their neighbours, no matter how minor or unsubstantiated; every bit of data helps,” they said.
Assistance has been offered by federal agencies and private contractors to mobilise the full weight of the country’s electronic surveillance capability and combine it with telecommunications intercepts and data secretly routed from banks, internet shopping sites and CCTV operators to detect and data match any activity that can remotely suggest illegal drug activity.
Despite the apparent benefits of sharing the love, not everyone in the community is happy with the direction police are taking.
Neighbourhood Watch activist Rudy Timms gave it an icy reception saying he is affronted with the police encroaching on his turf.
“It’s outrageous that people like me who have always kept a close eye on neighbours have not been consulted. This devalues the work we’ve done for years keeping an eye on everyone,” he said.
Electronic eyes however are more reliable with a source in the information security industry confirming that crunching big data numbers in the cloud environment removes the fog of war usually associated with detecting possible misdeeds.
“Everything is linked so it doesn’t take a lot of brains to push a button to do a drug deal or make a meal of someone’s life if a neighbour dobs them in,” they said.