COUNCIL workers are being trained to watch neighbour's bins for signs of terrorism.

Glasgow City Council has devised a training course to help employees recognise terrorist threats. It provides a list of "odd things" which the council say are suspicious, encouraging hawk-eyed neighbours to report them to police.

Among the list of suspicious activities are "bins with suspicious or unusual items", as well as bins which are "deliberately avoiding contact", meaning they are not put out as normal.

The course also lists "curtains closed most of the day", "visits to the house at unusual times by strangers" and "neighbours seldom seen or avoiding contact" as the signs of a potential terrorist in your neighbourhood.

But the council have been slammed by critics - who have likened the suggestion of snooping on neighbours to the dystopian world of surveillance depicted in George Orwell's 1984.

The training documents were revealed through a Freedom of Information request. It found the course has been taken by 1,424 staff members, whilst 546 have already completed it.

The section on observing neighbour's activities - and bins- comes in a scenario "knowledge check."

It reads: "You live in a city centre housing estate and have started to notice odd things about a house near you. Which of the following options do you think are suspicious?"

It then lists the four options of closed curtains, unusual visits to the house, quiet or seldomly seen neighbours and usual bin activity as the potential answers.

Once employees have given their answers, they can press a button to reveal the council's "correct" answer.

It reads: "Hopefully you have said that all of the above is correct!"

"It is very easy to overlook an odd situation and think nothing more about it. This is exactly what happened in Renfrewshire during the Glasgow Airport Bombings.

"How many times have you heard the saying 'I thought there was something odd about that house' when news crews interview locals after incidents are covered on national television?

The section finishes with the phrase "Vigilance can save lives" in bold lettering.

The training course is a part of the UK-wide government "Prevent" strategy - designed to combat terrorism.

The same course has been slammed for equating peaceful animal rights, environmental and anti-nuclear campaigners to far right bombers.

In a section titled "What is Terrorism?" the course lists animal rights, environmental and anti-nuclear groups under the heading "Who are our current threats?"

The same section list the groups alongside far right extremist David Copeland - who killed three when pipe-bombing a London pub in 1999.

The revelation has sparked outrage from campaign groups - who have called the training materials a "gross insult."

Dr Richard Dixon, director at Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: "People will be amazed that Glasgow Council could possibly label ordinary concerned citizens as 'terrorist threats."

"This is a gross insult to the many, many people who are concerned about climate change, nuclear weapons or animal rights, and to the charities who campaign peacefully on these issues."

In a statement, Glasgow City Council said: "The material does not accuse legitimate campaigners of anything and doesn't mention any of these groups at all.

"The course looks at how violent extremists supporting a variety of causes can pose a threat to safety."