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Facial Recognition (21773/19)


I would like to know the following under the Freedom of Information act relating to your force’s use of facial recognition technology.

  • When did your police force introduce facial recognition technology? Please provide a month and year.
  • How does your police force use facial recognition technology? Please confirm if it is used for any of the following use cases and provide information of any additional use cases: event management, riot policing, to monitor train stations, in airports, to monitor public spaces (please confirm the type of public spaces it is installed in – i.e. shopping mall), body-worn cameras, etc.
  • How much money was invested in facial recognition technology over the previous five years. Please share the figure broken down by each year for 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019
  • Does your police force plan to use facial recognition technology in 2020?
  • If your police force plans to use facial recognition technology in 2020, how much money is expected to be spent on the technology and what percentage of the force’s technology budget does it represent?
  • If your police force does not use facial recognition technology, by the end of which year do you plan to introduce it (i.e. by end of year 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024, 2025 etc.)?


Please find attached our response.

In addition to the attached response, West Midlands Police can neither confirm nor deny that it holds any other information relevant to this request as the duty in Section 1(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 does not apply by virtue of the following exemptions:

Section 24(2) – National security

Section 31(3) – Law enforcement

These exemptions and explanatory notes are shown here:

In line with the above, I am required to complete a Public Interest Test (PIT) on disclosure for Section 24 and Section 31, please find this PIT (21773_PIT_01) attached.


21773_PIT_01 21773_ATTACHMENT_01