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Live Facial Recognition technology results in six arrests

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Live Facial Recognition technology results in six arrests

As part of our commitment to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in our communities we are continuing to deploy Live Facial Recognition technology.

On Wednesday (15 May) officers made six arrests with the assistance of the technology at deployments in Tower Hamlets and in the vicinity of the O2 Arena in Greenwich.

This included two people who breached the terms of their sexual harm prevention order (SHPO).

After the alerts were made officers found one of them had items in their possession which as part of their court imposed conditions they must inform police they have. They had not met the terms of that order.

The other had not complied with conditions relating to an electronic device.

Other arrests include a man wanted for grievous bodily harm, another for assault of a police officer and assault.

Of the six arrests, three were from the Tower Hamlets deployment and three from the Greenwich deployment.

An alert is made when the technology suggests a person walking through a zone of recognition is similar to person on a bespoke watchlist.

If an alert is made this does not automatically mean an arrest, it could mean officers will ensure that a person is complying with their conditions as set out by a court.

Lindsey Chiswick, who is director of intelligence for the Met and who leads law enforcement use of facial recognition nationally, said: “Every deployment has a unique watchlist which is generated at the start of the day and immediately deleted at the end of the deployment.

“It takes less than a second for the technology to create a biometric image of a person’s face, assess it against the bespoke watchlist and automatically delete it when there is no match, with no way for police to retrieve the image.

“Some of the ways we are using facial recognition technology is to prevent and detect crime, find wanted criminals, safeguard vulnerable people and to protect people from harm – all to keep the people we serve safe.”

Superintendent Rav Pathania, who leads policing in Greenwich, said: “We work closely with the O2 Arena to prevent and deter crime in the local area. From the conversations I’ve had with local businesses, they supported this deployment. This technology is a great tactic which results is making Greenwich safer by removing serious offenders from the streets.”

More information about this technology, including details of previous deployments can be found here (




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