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Facial recognition technology to be used in east London

DEPLOYED: Facial recognition software to be used in Stratford today

FACIAL RECOGNITION technology will be used at a location in Stratford on Thursday (June 28), as part of the Metropolitan Police Service's (MPS) ongoing trial of the technology.

The technology is being used in Stratford as part of the Met's ongoing efforts to reduce violence in the area. All the faces on the database to be used during the deployment are of people wanted by the Met for violence-related offences.

If the technology generates an alert of a match, police officers on the ground will review it and further checks will be carried out to confirm the identity of the individual.

The MPS facial recognition technology will be used at a number of different events and locations this year. The trial of the technology will be subject to a full evaluation at the end of 2018.

Whilst the Met is developing this technology, the Met police is engaging with the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) Ethics Panel, Home Office Biometrics and Forensics Ethics panel, Surveillance Camera Commissioner, the Information Commissioner, the Investigatory Powers Commissioner's Office the Biometrics Commissioners, Big Brother Watch an other stakeholders. Liberty were invited to observe its use at the Carnival last year.

Detective Superintendent Bernie Galopin, of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), said: “The Met is currently developing the use of facial recognition technology to identify specific individuals at various different events and locations.

"This technology has previously been used at the past two Notting Hill Carnivals and at the 2017 Remembrance Sunday service to assess if it could assist police in identifying known offenders in large events and so help police to protect the wider public. The Met’s facial recognition technology was also used earlier this month at a port for the first time by Humberside Police.

"We are using the technology in Stratford to help to reduce violent crime and make the area safer by targeting individuals wanted for violence-related offences. The camera will scan faces of people as they pass by and alerts police officers of potential matches of specific individuals. The deployment of these cameras and targeting of individuals will be intelligence-led and temporary.

"Only images that come up as a match to a targeted individual will be retained for a limited period. The use of facial recognition technology aims to support standard policing activity to ensure everyone’s safety.”

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