|Quoting fr8mech (Reply 5):|
Not quite the same situation. In the, any observation would be incidental to my shopping. In this case, these folks, who have no training, yet have a cash incentive, will be looking for every little thing. Not quite Big Brother, more like little sister.
Another way of looking at this: security staff can't watch everyone, and they have their off moments too. Someone who is incentivsed will pay more attention, increasing the chances of the culprit being caught.
"Participants, who pay a fee to subscribe, press an "alert" button which relays an instant text message notifying a shop keeper of suspicious behavior. The SMS is followed up with a photographic image of the potential crime."
The person who notices the suspicious behaviour is merely passing the information on to the shopkeeper, who, I presume, will leave it his professionals. I'd say it wouldn't take long to weed-out people overreacting or causing false alarms.