In the Netherlands, Google's Street View service has helped to capture two robbers, the first time Street View images have been used for such a purpose in the country.

Street View, that saw protests here in the UK for fear the photographic mapping service could increase crime, especially burglaries and robberies, in fact helped to catch perpetrators of such an offence.

A 14-year-old boy went to the police last autumn with the complaint that he had been robbed of 165 euros and his mobile after two men attacked him whilst on his bike in the town of Groningen.

A few months later and the boy saw a Street View image that captured the two robbers following him, although, as is Google's policy, their faces were blurred.

The boy went back to the police who contacted Google for the unedited imagery, at which point a member of the Dutch robbery squad recognised "one of the men", which presumably indicates they aren't identical twins.