IRA dissidents may be using Google earth imagery to target police officers, a top cop in Northern Ireland has warned.

Google has just uploaded a street view image of every street in Belfast, which critics claim includes detailed information on the location of police stations and vehicles entering and leaving the facilities.

Police Federation Chairman Terry Spence has expressed concerns that "a potential compromise of a police officer’s vehicle or home” will occur, especially because there has been dissident violence aimed at security forces in recent weeks.

Two soldiers and policeman have been killed in the outbreak of violence.

In one image from Google, a car with registration visible was seen entering a Belfast police station.

Google has stated that their images only show scenes that "anyone walking on that street can see.“

“We make it easy for users to ask to have photographs of themselves, their children, their cars or their houses completely removed from the product, even where the images have already been on Google," a  spokesman told the Irish News newspaper.

Google has also agreed to remove some images from their Street View program for security reasons.

Ironically, late last year, a dissident IRA statement threatened Google when they were taking the images originally, on the grounds that the program could disclose the location of their headquarters.