Technology initiative captures images in custody suites

City of London Police is the first force in the UK to install a groundbreaking solution for capturing and storing quality images of suspects in custody.

Jun 1, 2007
By David Howell

City of London Police is the first force in the UK to install a groundbreaking solution for capturing and storing quality images of suspects in custody.

The force has purchased two Digital Image Booths (DIBs) from DW Group Ltd with OmniPerception AFIT.QA software facial recognition system and has installed them at the Snowhill and Bishopsgate custody suites. It is part of a programme to improve the way the force runs its custody suites.

“This proves the most effective way of accurately identifying individuals and preventing criminals who try to evade justice by using aliases. The system is also cost effective, easy to use and saves valuable police time freeing up officers to patrol the streets,” said a spokesperson for the force.

The work is part of the NPIA’s Facial Images National Database (FIND) initiative, which introduces new national standards. Currently, the quality of images captured, often on digital cameras, varies from force to force.

Detective Inspector Jeffery Alpe, head of scientific support at City of London Police explained: “This fast accurate measurement gives us great confidence in the system and provides us with superb quality images for ID and verification purposes.

“It’s vitally important that we can capture quality images in order to allow us to match them up to CCTV stills.”

A successful pilot using the booths has already been carried out by Merseyside Police.

David McIntosh, managing irtector of OmniPerception, explained: “At the moment, if you arrest someone in Leeds, for instance, and he gives a false name, the fact that he’s wanted in connection with a crime committed in Hampshire may never come to light. This is always a danger where there’s no reliable facial record and recognition system.”

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