Police chiefs tell homeowners to demand Google blurs their house on Street View after 40% rise in burglaries


“I would urge homeowners who are concerned to ask Google to cover up their properties,” Mr Cooke said. “It’s the only way to be sure.”

In 2014, an investment banker suggested burglars had used the technology to to raid his secluded mansion and steal £100,000 worth of jewellery.

Four years earlier, Google defended itself against claims that thieves repeatedly targeted a property in Bradford after spotting its door open online.

A number of burglars in the US have been convicted after allegedly using Street View to look for targets.

John Hayward-Cripps, CEO of Neighbourhood Watch, said the technology could be “easily mis-used by burglars to locate properties that are easy pickings”.

“Some people may think they are not at risk because many of the images on Street View are years old,” he said.

“However, the images can still be used to see if a home is in an environment that allows a burglar a swift exit. For instance, if a house backs onto a pathway or if there are various hiding places nearby.

“It is important that the public know their rights and can ask Google to blur out their homes on Street View. If celebrities can do this citing security concerns, ordinary people should be aware that they have that right as well.”


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