Facial Recognition (608_15)


With reference project to run facial detection/recognition through CCTV cameras `Face in the crowd’ (see point 4.3), as mentioned in ACPOs submission to the House of Commons Science and Technology’s Committee:




“There are many developments around digital imagery as technologies such as facial recognition continue to mature. In West Midlands Police, for example, the innovation partner Accenture are looking at the application of `face in the crowd’ technologies across the wealth of CCTV footage available. It is recognised that infrastructure challenges will need to be overcome for this technology to be applied successfully.”


1) Please advise if this system is live.   If the answer is `yes please answer 1) a-l:


  1. a) Please provide the privacy impact assessment.


  1. b) How many searches have been done?  Please break down by how many individuals have been positively identified and searches that have not been able to positively identify an individual?


  1. c) Have any searches contributed to the assistance of a conviction?


  1. d) Have any searches contributed to finding a missing person?


  1. e) Have any searches contributed to finding any other person?  If so please advise the reason this/these person/s were sought?


  1. f) How long has the system been running?  Please provide the start date.


  1. g) Please advise the company supplying the hardware (if any) and the software to identify individuals.


  1. h) Please advise which CCTV networks are using the system.


  1. i) Please advise if images from elsewhere are being used. i.e. private surveillance systems, custody images, etc.


  1. j) What `infrastructure challenges will need to be overcome for this technology to be applied successfully?


  1. k) How long does the system retain images for?


  1. l) How many images are stored and what proportions of these are of people not found guilty of a crime?


2) If the project is not yet implemented please answer 2) a-c


  1. a) Please advise the reason why.


  1. b) Please advise when West Midlands Police plan to implement such a system or whether the idea has been abandoned.


  1. c) Please advise the companies providing the hardware (if any) and software.


West Midlands Police are exploring the use of a wide range of technologies as part of their WMP2020 Blueprint. Whilst many technologies are being considered, no specific application of facial recognition has been planned at this stage. Any procurement of hardware or software in relation to this would follow the relevant procurement process


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