27.01.20

Police in London begin operational use of facial recognition technology

Facial Recognition

The Metropolitan Police in London has announced it will begin the operational use of Live Facial Recognition (LFR) technology. "The use of live facial recognition technology will be intelligence-led and deployed to specific locations in London. This will help tackle serious crime, including serious violence, gun and knife crime, child sexual exploitation and help protect the vulnerable.” the Met Police said in a statement on Friday.

"The technology, from NEC, provides police officers with an additional tool to assist them in doing what officers have always done – to try to locate and arrest wanted people. 

This is not a case of technology taking over from traditional policing; this is a system which simply gives police officers a ‘prompt’, suggesting “that person over there may be the person you’re looking for”, it is always the decision of an officer whether or not to engage with someone.

This is an important development for the Met and one which is vital in assisting us in bearing down on violence.”

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave said in a statement: “We are using a tried-and-tested technology, and have taken a considered and transparent approach in order to arrive at this point.

“This is an important development for the Met and one which is vital in assisting us in bearing down on violence.”

He said police will begin operationally deploying LFR in places where intelligence suggests they are most likely to locate serious offenders.