Image Quality Assurance Case Study
Case Study: Facial Image Search Engine
Suspect Identification Tool Helps Merseyside Free Up Police Time
Merseyside Police was the first force in the country to trial new technology using automatic facial recognition to help identify arrested suspects even before they reach the custody desk.
The solution is based on the Digital Image Register (DIR), built and supplied by DW Group, with OmniPerception’s world famous Colossus™ facial biometric capability built in. The DIR takes images of suspects in the “airlock” or holding cell before they are booked into custody. The suspect simply stands in front of the DIR and their photograph is taken.
Once the image is taken, it is compared against images already held in the Merseyside Police database. Using a touch-screen, the officer enters his shoulder number, takes the picture and presses the “search” button – activating an immediate search and comparison with all the images in the force database in only a few seconds. If a match is recorded then this is brought to the officer’s attention with relevant information conveyed by colour coding to comply with data protection requirements.
The colour codes are: green – the person is known to police but there are no markers against their name; yellow – there is a bail marker against the person’s name; amber – the person is wanted on warrant; red – they are wanted and are considered a serious criminal.
The custody sergeant is thus alerted from the outset as to whether the person is wanted on bail or warrant. The information also assists in decisions as to which prisoners to process first, based on their past criminality and likely behaviour.
Merseyside embarked on the trial because it was looking for ways to speed up the time it takes to process prisoners in custody and free up trained officers to spend more time on the streets. Assistant Chief Constable Simon Byrne predicts that the technology has the potential to save the force in excess of 20,000 hours in officer time each year (2,000 per custody suite).
“The fact that suspects can now be identified even before they reach the custody desk is a truly innovative approach that has never been done before by a police force,” he says. “This not only speeds up the custody process and enables officers to spend more time on the streets, it also provides officers with valuable intelligence on individual offenders.”
The force is currently rolling out the DIR/Colossus™ solution across all eight custody centres in the region.
Our Customers Say...
“This [using the DIR with Colossus™ inside] not only speeds up the custody process and enables officers to spend more time on the streets, it also provides officers with valuable intelligence on individual offenders.” Assistant Chief Constable Simon Byrne, Merseyside Police