18 Jan 2006View Comments
The Police IT Organisation (Pito) is starting a multimillion-pound programme to establish the potential uses of facial biometric technology.
The initial scoping work will include developing a business case based on how police forces might be able to use the technology, and the possible business process transformation that could result.
Pito will also conduct feasibility studies to consider the status of the technology and how it may develop.
The programme will run over the coming two to three years, and will seek to ensure that as the technology matures, the police are in a position to make the most of it, Pito head of identification projects Simon Moore told Computing.
‘We recognise that facial recognition technology might not be ready for deployment for another couple of years,’ he said.
‘But we can use that time to do the upfront work such as developing the business case, and going through the procurement cycle and so on.’
The Pito team will focus on potential uses of the technology in conjunction with the Facial Images National Database (Find), the national mugshot system already being developed.
Possibilities include comparing CCTV images with information held on the database, or even looking for links with photofit images created by victims and witnesses.
‘We are not necessarily looking for evidential identification, we are looking for useful intelligence leads,’ said Moore.
Pito’s work on facial recognition technology has been mandated by the Association of Chief Police Officers, and will start at the beginning of the next financial year.
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