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Posted on May 09, 2018

Facial recognition assisting UK Police

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South Wales Police have reported 2,000 positive matches reached with their 'Identify' facial recognition technology in past 9 months with over 450 arrests.
 
Of course no facial recognition system is 100% accurate under all conditions. Technical issues are normal to all face recognition systems which means false positives will continue to be a common problem for the foreseeable future. However since South Wales Police introduced the facial recognition technology no individual has been arrested where a false positive alert has led to an intervention and no members of the public have complained.
 
AFR 'Identity' allows officers to load images of persons of interest and compare them against their 500,000 custody images to see if there is a possible match on identification.
 
AFR 'Locate' is a real time solution which utilises live feeds from CCTV typed cameras based either at specific, fixed locations or cameras secured to the top of one of a vehicle fleet to locate persons on prescribed watch lists.
 
In relation to the false positives this is where the system incorrectly matches a person against a watch list. The operator considers the initial alert and either disregards it (which happens on the majority of cases) or dispatches an intervention team as the operator feels that the match is correct. When the intervention team is dispatched this involves an officer having an interaction with the potentially matched individual. Officers can quickly establish if the person has been correctly or incorrectly matched by traditional policing methods i.e. normally a dialogue between the officer/s and the individual. If an incorrect match has been made officers will explain to the individual what has happened and invite them to see the equipment along with providing them with a Fair Processing Notice.
 
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Throughout the trial South Wales Police has been very cognisant of concerns about privacy and have built in checks and balances into their methodology to make sure their approach is justified and balanced.
 
Source and top image: South Wales Police