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The world's first gaol Web cam

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Sheriff Joe Arpaio has decided to install a Web cam in his gaol in Maricopa County, Phoenix, Arizona. He says if will deter people from doing wrong - civil liberties folk say it infringes people's rights since some of the alleged criminals featured will inevitably not have gone to trial yet and so may not be guilty.

We say: voyeurism ahoy! Joe is old skool and we hope we never need to meet him.

The Web cams come with a mouth-watering warning: "This is a real life transmission of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Madison Street Jail. Instances of violence or sexually inappropriate behavior by detainees during the booking process may occur. Viewer discretion is advised. This is a jail not a simulation", etc, etc. Which is precisely the reason why people are checking it out.

What do you get? Four cams: two entry cameras, a search cell camera and a holding cell camera. Great. Of course, nothing much happens. We got a refresh rate of about 15 seconds. Good value if you're a bit bored.

However, the best bits are on the rest of the site. The Amazing Video page currently hosts footage of a nutter, dangling his child by the foot out of a tower block as a hostage. The police coax him down by offering free beer. There's lots more of this.

And the editorial is priceless. Take the following: "Drugged up and naked is no way to go through life." Quite right. "Justice is served 'cold' to a couple of punks. Mmmm... Justice." And so on and so forth. The scum of America are paraded in front of you - whenever is most suitable for you.

And when you got bored of this, you can pop off and buy some pepper spray or maybe do a background check on your employees to see if they've ever been in trouble with the law. What more could you possibly want? ®

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