Internet giant says it is wrong to blame crime on Street View

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Gordon Rayner and his garage Gordon Rayner and his garage

A milkman claims burglars targeted his garage three times after spotting its door wide open on Google’s controversial Street View website.

Gordon Rayner, of Thackley, Bradford, believes criminals could have been using the service which allows anyone in the world to instantly see a 360-degree picture of his – and any other – street.

An online Street View image clearly shows Mr Rayner standing next to his house in front of an open garage door.

Inside the garage is expensive equipment such as a washing machine and a mountain bike, which has now been stolen.

Mr Rayner, 54, of Brackendale Parade, described Street View as ‘an invasion of privacy’ after a neighbour pointed out the picture on his computer.

He said: “When you look at the photograph, my face is blacked out, the windows of my house are blacked out but because the garage door was left open, you can clearly see everything in there.

“I would argue that they should have blacked that out. It is just an invitation for any criminal to take what they like.”

The bike was stolen during a break-in last month. The thieves returned the following two nights and tried, without success, to get into the garage.

Mr Rayner, a former manager of Bradford Park Avenue and Guiseley football clubs, said anything of value had now been removed.

Street View’s launch sparked concerns from privacy campaigners who claimed the site made it easy for criminals to check out potential victims.

But watchdog the Information Commiss-ioner’s Office (ICO) has given the service the all-clear. A Google spokesman said the company had agreed to blur or rub out images of people or houses on request. The spokesman said: “The imagery on Street View is no different to what anyone could readily capture or see by travelling down the street themselves.

“We’ve now launched Street View in around 20 countries and nowhere has there been any increase in crime as a result.”

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said it was investigating the garage burglary, which happened on Friday, March 12, between 8pm and 1am the following day. Anyone with information about it should contact police on 0845 6060606.

Comments (27)

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6:55am Mon 12 Apr 10

Mike Strutter says...

A coincidence maybe ?
I think street view is a burglars charter but let's face it the average garage contains bikes and washing machines............
.....and maybe a car if you are lucky !!!!
Is this T & A newsworthy really ?
A coincidence maybe ? I think street view is a burglars charter but let's face it the average garage contains bikes and washing machines............ .....and maybe a car if you are lucky !!!! Is this T & A newsworthy really ? Mike Strutter

7:01am Mon 12 Apr 10

Mike Strutter says...

Well thanks T & A for printing the poor chaps address !!

I've looked at street view and it is debatable. You can make out washing machine and maybe a fridge and yes there is a bike but just your average stuff you would keep in a garage.

I agree though that it should have been blacked out.
Well thanks T & A for printing the poor chaps address !! I've looked at street view and it is debatable. You can make out washing machine and maybe a fridge and yes there is a bike but just your average stuff you would keep in a garage. I agree though that it should have been blacked out. Mike Strutter

9:33am Mon 12 Apr 10

giddykipper says...

Are the pigs on the roundabout still available?
Are the pigs on the roundabout still available? giddykipper

9:55am Mon 12 Apr 10

Leighann says...

Had a good look and yes you can see the items in the garage but I don't think google earth are entierly to blame for this. Looking round the area it is quite 'affluent' so I'm sure that makes it more of a thief's paradise.

After looking on rightmove there are 2 properties for sale averaging at £195,000 and there are more pics detailing the inside of houses for thief's than there is on google earth.
Had a good look and yes you can see the items in the garage but I don't think google earth are entierly to blame for this. Looking round the area it is quite 'affluent' so I'm sure that makes it more of a thief's paradise. After looking on rightmove there are 2 properties for sale averaging at £195,000 and there are more pics detailing the inside of houses for thief's than there is on google earth. Leighann

10:05am Mon 12 Apr 10

Leighann says...

ps, his house windows are not blacked out, think I can make out a cat sat in the front window
ps, his house windows are not blacked out, think I can make out a cat sat in the front window Leighann

10:15am Mon 12 Apr 10

Joedavid says...

Well all I could get was a roof top view, and Google thinks it is in Queensbury not Thackley.
So he can't blame Google even if the people who broke in did see in his garage they would have gone to Queensbury.
Well all I could get was a roof top view, and Google thinks it is in Queensbury not Thackley. So he can't blame Google even if the people who broke in did see in his garage they would have gone to Queensbury. Joedavid

12:37pm Mon 12 Apr 10

ItchyBungle says...

Did the thieves steal Mr Rayner's shoes as well? He appears to be in his slippers.
Did the thieves steal Mr Rayner's shoes as well? He appears to be in his slippers. ItchyBungle

12:38pm Mon 12 Apr 10

Andraste says...

"A milkman claims burglars targeted his garage three times after spotting its door wide open on Google’s controversial Street View website."
.
So he blames Google for leaving his garage door open ?....
.
Oh and btw, those pics were taken over a year ago; is this guy telling us that he left his door open all that time ?
.
What a dunce.
"A milkman claims burglars targeted his garage three times after spotting its door wide open on Google’s controversial Street View website." . So he blames Google for leaving his garage door open ?.... . Oh and btw, those pics were taken over a year ago; is this guy telling us that he left his door open all that time ? . What a dunce. Andraste

1:31pm Mon 12 Apr 10

mikado85 says...

omg, some people!

i wouldnt dare goto the TnA for something as trivial as this.

How can you accuse google of being in the wrong, unless the burglars left a note, "Thanks to google street, you've been busted".

You would think suhc a person living in an affluent area would have an ounce of intelligence.

This is just silly.

We dont need silly stories like this.... burglaries happen, moreso when you dont have an alarm and it is obvious to spot, so do something about it and move on.

Rant over.
omg, some people! i wouldnt dare goto the TnA for something as trivial as this. How can you accuse google of being in the wrong, unless the burglars left a note, "Thanks to google street, you've been busted". You would think suhc a person living in an affluent area would have an ounce of intelligence. This is just silly. We dont need silly stories like this.... burglaries happen, moreso when you dont have an alarm and it is obvious to spot, so do something about it and move on. Rant over. mikado85

1:39pm Mon 12 Apr 10

Andraste says...

Someone stole my outside toilet because it was on Google maps.
.
What do I do ? :(
Someone stole my outside toilet because it was on Google maps. . What do I do ? :( Andraste

1:40pm Mon 12 Apr 10

Roadkilluk says...

I suppose his neighbour has had their blue Skoda stolen too, I can see that in the garage.
I suppose his neighbour has had their blue Skoda stolen too, I can see that in the garage. Roadkilluk

1:41pm Mon 12 Apr 10

_Size3_ says...

Well he's a bit of a knob for bringing this article about isn't he....now everyone in the Bradford district and surrounding areas is logging on to Street View to check his crib out. Nice place....
Well he's a bit of a knob for bringing this article about isn't he....now everyone in the Bradford district and surrounding areas is logging on to Street View to check his crib out. Nice place.... _Size3_

1:43pm Mon 12 Apr 10

albion says...

Andraste wrote:
Someone stole my outside toilet because it was on Google maps.
.
What do I do ? :(
The same thing, but elsewhere.
[quote][p][bold]Andraste[/bold] wrote: Someone stole my outside toilet because it was on Google maps. . What do I do ? :([/p][/quote]The same thing, but elsewhere. albion

1:55pm Mon 12 Apr 10

Andraste says...

albion wrote:
Andraste wrote:
Someone stole my outside toilet because it was on Google maps.
.
What do I do ? :(
The same thing, but elsewhere.
How about the local park ?
[quote][p][bold]albion[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Andraste[/bold] wrote: Someone stole my outside toilet because it was on Google maps. . What do I do ? :([/p][/quote]The same thing, but elsewhere.[/p][/quote]How about the local park ? Andraste

1:59pm Mon 12 Apr 10

tyker says...

if Shakespeare had been born in Yorkshire he would have written " MUCH ADO NOWT"



The victim should try get in touch with GOOGLE--he will soon discover how open they are to discussion!
if Shakespeare had been born in Yorkshire he would have written " MUCH ADO NOWT" The victim should try get in touch with GOOGLE--he will soon discover how open they are to discussion! tyker

2:38pm Mon 12 Apr 10

PTN says...

At the end of the day , his house was burgled so lets show some sympathy and not be so rude towards him.
The wrongs and rights of Google showing his garage or him leaving the door wide open are another matter. If a burglar really wants to burgle then they will just have a drive by before deciding on which houses are easy pickings , so i think he is wrong blaming google but the people having a go at him are also wrong. I,m sure they would have a different outlook on it if it was them that had been burgled.
At the end of the day , his house was burgled so lets show some sympathy and not be so rude towards him. The wrongs and rights of Google showing his garage or him leaving the door wide open are another matter. If a burglar really wants to burgle then they will just have a drive by before deciding on which houses are easy pickings , so i think he is wrong blaming google but the people having a go at him are also wrong. I,m sure they would have a different outlook on it if it was them that had been burgled. PTN

2:41pm Mon 12 Apr 10

blacksheep says...

I've heard it all now. Every sympathy for the chap, but maybe someone walked past the garage when the door was open and had a good old nosey around. Pretty sure crime was around before Google Street View. Any road, I'm a fan of the Street View, I can see my neighbour getting dressed in her bedroom - WHOOP WHOOP!!
I've heard it all now. Every sympathy for the chap, but maybe someone walked past the garage when the door was open and had a good old nosey around. Pretty sure crime was around before Google Street View. Any road, I'm a fan of the Street View, I can see my neighbour getting dressed in her bedroom - WHOOP WHOOP!! blacksheep

4:53pm Mon 12 Apr 10

Mekon says...

While we are on the subject of google and bradford:

www dot dailymail.co.uk/news
/article-1168188/The
-moment-Google-car-f
ilmed-pulled-police-
driving-bus-lane.htm
l
While we are on the subject of google and bradford: www dot dailymail.co.uk/news /article-1168188/The -moment-Google-car-f ilmed-pulled-police- driving-bus-lane.htm l Mekon

8:06pm Mon 12 Apr 10

mousey10 says...

I wonder if they nicked his power washer?
I wonder if they nicked his power washer? mousey10

8:37am Tue 13 Apr 10

_Size3_ says...

Why have sympathy for him? People get burgled, boo hoo - it's a pain in the **** yes but if you are stupid enough to have a garage so far off that people don't even have to step foot on your property then you should expect it will be a target. Try getting a more secure garage door with the insurance money.....?
Why have sympathy for him? People get burgled, boo hoo - it's a pain in the **** yes but if you are stupid enough to have a garage so far off that people don't even have to step foot on your property then you should expect it will be a target. Try getting a more secure garage door with the insurance money.....? _Size3_

12:59pm Tue 13 Apr 10

mikado85 says...

Lots of people get burgled throughout the UK every day. No one goes to the papers for a sympathy vote. Its life, deal with it sir. Sorry, but this is a pathetic article, it makes me mad.
Lots of people get burgled throughout the UK every day. No one goes to the papers for a sympathy vote. Its life, deal with it sir. Sorry, but this is a pathetic article, it makes me mad. mikado85

4:00pm Tue 13 Apr 10

Ralphie says...

The story has got nearly a full page in todays Daily Mirror - so it must be serious!
The story has got nearly a full page in todays Daily Mirror - so it must be serious! Ralphie

8:11pm Tue 13 Apr 10

pdh19 says...

I suppose for the average attention-whore, this story has some mileage. While selling the story to all and sundry, Gordon has allowed the BBC to photograph his open garage and he has kindly provided his address in this very fine publication. Good, isn't it? Whining about Google Streetview while anyone can access pretty much any personal details they want on him... and all at his choice. I now know Gordon's home address, phone number and his date of birth. If I had bad intentions, I'm only one bin-collection day from getting credit cards in his name. And it's all Gordon's doing, not Google's.
I suppose for the average attention-whore, this story has some mileage. While selling the story to all and sundry, Gordon has allowed the BBC to photograph his open garage and he has kindly provided his address in this very fine publication. Good, isn't it? Whining about Google Streetview while anyone can access pretty much any personal details they want on him... and all at his choice. I now know Gordon's home address, phone number and his date of birth. If I had bad intentions, I'm only one bin-collection day from getting credit cards in his name. And it's all Gordon's doing, not Google's. pdh19

8:58pm Tue 13 Apr 10

Roadkilluk says...

Lol pdh19, I agree, he's a bit of a plank :)
Lol pdh19, I agree, he's a bit of a plank :) Roadkilluk

11:00pm Tue 13 Apr 10

smoxon says...

Four weeks ago my motorbike was stolen from the front of my house, this was a matter of days after i noticed that the street view had gone up. I had immediate concern - especially because the number plate was not blurred out.

As soon as I saw the street view picture I was concerned, as I mentioned in a matter of days the bike was gone. It had been parked there for the last couple of years!

I wrote to Google and told them what had happened, all I got back was an email acknowledgement and they blurred out the number plate of my now none existence Yamaha FJ1200!

I did mention this to the police when I reported the crime, and they said that they were having problems with thieves using Google Earth to scout out peoples gardens for sheds and ways to access them!

Thanks Google for making the biggest shop window for thieves who can now do all their research from the privacy of their home so as not to bring any suspicion on themselves.
Four weeks ago my motorbike was stolen from the front of my house, this was a matter of days after i noticed that the street view had gone up. I had immediate concern - especially because the number plate was not blurred out. As soon as I saw the street view picture I was concerned, as I mentioned in a matter of days the bike was gone. It had been parked there for the last couple of years! I wrote to Google and told them what had happened, all I got back was an email acknowledgement and they blurred out the number plate of my now none existence Yamaha FJ1200! I did mention this to the police when I reported the crime, and they said that they were having problems with thieves using Google Earth to scout out peoples gardens for sheds and ways to access them! Thanks Google for making the biggest shop window for thieves who can now do all their research from the privacy of their home so as not to bring any suspicion on themselves. smoxon

11:02am Wed 14 Apr 10

enviroMENTAL says...

My motorbike was stolen out of a locked garage, behind a car which had to be moved and bolted to a wall. It wasn't on Google at all! It's not Google that's the problem its the theiving scum. There will always be some about so the best you can do is take some security measures. Gordon - next time you are photographed by the press you might want to consider tucking your shirt in and losing the slippers or were your belt and shoes stolen as well?
My motorbike was stolen out of a locked garage, behind a car which had to be moved and bolted to a wall. It wasn't on Google at all! It's not Google that's the problem its the theiving scum. There will always be some about so the best you can do is take some security measures. Gordon - next time you are photographed by the press you might want to consider tucking your shirt in and losing the slippers or were your belt and shoes stolen as well? enviroMENTAL

3:43pm Thu 15 Apr 10

Ding Dong Diddly Dias says...

My house was burgled, google street view clearly shows doors and windows on my house! It's a disgrace, I want "compunsashun" now!
My house was burgled, google street view clearly shows doors and windows on my house! It's a disgrace, I want "compunsashun" now! Ding Dong Diddly Dias

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