Police in northern Australia are using facial recognition technology to help fight crime. After the conclusion of a trial phase earlier this year, the Northern Territory (NT) Police Force is broadening its use of NEC Corporation‘s NeoFace Reveal system.
The facial recognition system has already proven highly useful in investigations, largely by aiding police in analysis of CCTV footage, body camera videos, and other images. NEC says that it has so far been used to identify more than 300 individuals, many of them engaged in criminal activity but in at least one case an unconscious victim of assault, highlighting the breadth of the technology’s utility.
In a press release, Police Minister Peter Chandler asserted that the system “is helping reduce investigation times by enabling investigators to quickly identify or rule out suspects soon after a crime has been committed,” adding that the technology “could also assist police to identify missing persons and also those in the community who suffer from Alzheimer’s or other similar health issues to assist police in getting them the care they need.”
NEC’s NeoFace Reveal solution, which was upgraded early last month, has recently demonstrated similar benefits – albeit on a smaller scale – in a deployment with Arizona’s Department of Transportation, which has used the technology to cut down driver’s license fraud. While there is an ongoing national debate in Australia about government authorities’ use of biometric identification technologies, the very practical benefits resulting from the NT Police Force’s use of NeoFace reveal help to demonstrate this technology’s value proposition.
September 2, 2015 – by Alex Perala