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Facial recognition for police

The Japanese company NEC Corporation has provided a facial recognition system for South Wales Police through NEC Europe Ltd. The product in use is NeoFace Watch, NEC’s flagship facial recognition software. It’s used for real-time CCTV surveillance, as well as still image and recorded video face search in crowded locations, such as airports and stadiums.

South Wales Police deploys NeoFace Watch using CCTV cameras mounted on a number of police vehicles and is using its real-time surveillance capability to locate persons of interest on pre-determined watchlists, whether criminals, suspects or vulnerable and missing persons.

Assistant Chief Constable Richard Lewis said: “Facial recognition technology will enable us to search, scan and monitor images and video against a range of offender databases leading to faster and more accurate identification of persons of interest. This has been borne out by the recent arrest of a 34-year old man from Cardiff who was wanted for a recall to prison. He had walked past several officers on a main street in Cardiff before he was identified by the cameras and it is probably an arrest we would not have made at any previous time.”

The system was deployed for the final of the UEFA Champions League, on June 3 at the National Stadium of Wales, with up to 170,000 football fans in Cardiff on that day. ACC Lewis said: “We deployed NEC’s real-time solution, which enabled trained officers to monitor the movement of people at strategic locations in and around the city centre during this massive event. It was a great success.” South Wales is the first force to use a real-time facial recognition system at a large-scale sports event in the UK. The system will also be used to cross-check still images and recorded video taken at crime scenes against about 500,000 photos held in its custody image database.



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