Facial technology to be deployed in Romford

As part of the Metropolitan Police Service’s trial of the technology, live facial technology is being deployed in Romford town centre.

Metropolitan Police is carrying out 10 deployments as part of the live facial recognition trial, with eight having already taken place. The final two deployments will take place on 31 January and 1 February, as part of ongoing efforts to reduce crime.

The technology will be used overtly with a clear uniformed presence and information leaflets will be distributed to the public. Posters with information about the technology will also be displayed in the area. In order to sufficiently test the technology, the deployment will run for about eight hours each day.

It was recently reported that the Met spent more than £200,000 on controversial facial recognition trials in London that resulted in no arrests.

Detective Chief Superintendent Ivan Balhatchet, strategic lead for live facial technology, said: “The Met is currently developing the use of live facial recognition and our trial period is coming to an end. Following the final deployments this week, a full independent evaluation of the deployments and the technology itself will commence.

“In December 2018 the Live Facial Recognition technology was deployed in Westminster. Two arrests were made as a direct result of the system identifying individuals wanted for violent offences. Tackling violent crime is a key priority for the Met and we are determined to use all emerging technology available to support standard policing activity and help protect our communities.

“The technology being tested in this trial is developing all the time and has the potential to be invaluable to day-to-day policing. We continue to engage with many different stakeholders, some who actively challenge our use of this technology. In order to show transparency and continue constructive debate, we have invited individuals and groups with varying views on our use of facial recognition technology to this deployment.”


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