Leicestershire Police Try Biometric Face Recognition For Catching Crooks

Leicestershire Police Try Biometric Face Recognition For Catching CrooksA police force in the United Kingdom is testing a biometric face recognition solution from NEC Corporation in order to track down criminals. Leicestershire Police is trying out NeoFace, which can compare digital images with photo’s from the department’s database. In the midst of a six month trial, the solution is already pulling its weight.

NeoFace can use data from close circuit television systems and police body cameras, comparing dozens of key facial measurements with images in the database and providing initial results in seconds. Leicestershire Police has been evaluating the biometric software for only a couple of months at this point and reports that approximately 200 suspects have been put through the system.

“We have over ninety-thousand photos on our system and NeoFace can compare someone’s image against our complete databases in seconds,” says Andy Ramsay, manager of  the Leicestershire Identity Unit. “Besides the speed, it’s also impressive because it can even find family members related to the person we’re trying to identify.”

Chief Inspector Chris Cockerill says, “We’re very proud to be the first UK Police force to evaluate this new system. Initial results have been very promising and we’re looking forward to seeing what can be achieved throughout the six month trial.”

Earlier this week, NEC Corporation of America announced that its facial recognition scored the highest marks in a performance test by the National Institute of Technology and Standards (NIST). The honor marked the third consecutive NIST test that NEC’s facial recognition was distinguished as number one.

The NIST testing consisted of 12 commercial vendors and four academic institutions. Using measured error rates to determine a solution’s accuracy, the evaluation found NEC’s face recognition as not just best of the bunch, but also markedly improved from the Multiple Biometrics Evaluation in 2010 (which it also topped).

July 17, 2014 – by Peter B. Counter