Eight people were arrested during the Met’s deployment of live facial recognition technology in Romford town centre on Thursday, 31 January.
The automated technology can passively & simultaneously scan peoples faces using optical technology and can help the police to identify wanted individuals who might have been ‘on the run’ for
The Metropolitan Police announced that three arrests [A], [B] and [C], were as a direct result of the facial recognition technology identifying individuals wanted by police for violent offences.
One of the arrests (see below) was made for someone who was wanted as a result of suspected of being in breach of a molestation order.
The other five arrests, [D], [E], [F], [G], [H] were proactive arrests as part of the wider operation.
A 15-year-old boy [A] was arrested on suspicion of robbery. However he was later assessed as no longer wanted and released with no further action.
A 28-year-old man [B] was arrested on suspicion of false imprisonment and kidnapping and taken to an east London police station.
A 35-year-old man [C] was arrested on suspicion of breach of a molestation order and taken to an east London police station.
A 17-year-old boy [D] was arrested on suspicion of discharging a firearm and taken to an east London police station.
Two boys [E – 14-years-old and F – 14-years-old] were arrested on suspicion of robbery and taken to an east London police station.
Two men [G] 46-years-old and [H] 25-years-old, were arrested on suspicion of possession of drugs. They were dealt with via a community resolution.
The deployment was also due to continue on Friday, 1 February however due to adverse weather forecasts, the trial has been rescheduled for another date.
Commander Ivan Balhatchet, strategic lead for live facial recognition, said:
“The technology used in Romford forms part of the Met’s ongoing efforts to reduce crime in the area, with a specific focus on tackling violence. Use of the equipment at Romford Town Centre resulted in several arrests for violent offences.
“In anticipation of adverse weather conditions, the decision has been made to reschedule the second day of deployment to a later date.
“We must ensure each trial deployment of this technology is as effective as possible.
“We aim to carry out each trial in areas where footfall is expected to be high to ensure all aspects of the technology are being tested thoroughly.
“Given the weather forecast, we expect footfall to be low and have therefore made the decision to reschedule.
“As with all previous deployments the technology was used overtly.
“We continue to engage with many different stakeholders, some who actively challenge our use of this technology.
“In order to show transparency and continue [the] constructive debate, we invited individuals and groups with varying views on our use of facial recognition technology to this operational activity.”
This technology allows the police to quickly and effectively bring to justice individuals who may have been able to evade the police for some time.
Whilst some people have been worried about the use of facial recognition technology, it’s hard to envision a scenario whereby the concerns being raised outweigh the benefits of the technology.
Most sensible people will no-doubt agree that crime needs to be tackled head-on and this technology is a great way of finding potentially dangerous individuals who perhaps otherwise might have gone on to commit further violent crimes.
The impact of this technology in relation to the fight against terrorism and
Few people would disagree that the safety and the security of the general public
The only people who should be worried about this technology, are those who are intent on causing harm to others.
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