Police trial face recognition

Witnesses are being urged to come forward after a collision involving two vehicles at the entrance to the Burton Street car park in Melton

Witnesses are being urged to come forward after a collision involving two vehicles at the entrance to the Burton Street car park in Melton

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Criminals in Rutland could be identified with state-of-the-art face recognition software.

Leicestershire Police is the first force in the UK to use a programme called NeoFace, which compares digital images. Officers can use the programme to match images taken from CCTV or police body camera footage with photos on the force database.

The computer programme has been under evaluation for two months and about 200 suspects have already been put through it, with a high success rate of identification.

Chief Inspector Chris Cockerill said: “We’re very proud to be the first UK police force to evaluate this new system. Initial results have been very promising and we’re looking forward to seeing what can be achieved throughout the six-month trial.”

NeoFace compares dozens of measurements between key facial features. It provides initial results in just a matter of a few seconds. It can even identify family members.

The current system, although computerised, involves manually searching for possible matches, which can take up to several hours.

While the results can’t be used as evidence in court, the programme does give detectives significant help in developing new lines of enquiry.

 

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