UK police to trial facial recognition apps on phones
09 August 2019 09:30 GMT

Police in South Wales are to pilot a facial recognition app that will they can use to identify suspects without having to take them to a police station.

The force will test the app over the next three months, running a snapshot of a person through a database of suspects called a watchlist, reported The Guardian.

Some 50 officers will use the the technology to confirm the names of people of interest who are stopped on routine patrols.

However, Liberty, the campaign group, called the announcement “chilling”, noted the newspaper, adding that it was “shameful” that South Wales police had chosen to press ahead with handheld facial recognition systems even as it faced a court challenge over the technology.

Deputy Chief Constable Richard Lewis said to the BBC: "This new app means that, with a single photo, officers can easily and quickly answer the question of 'are you really the person we are looking for?'.

"Officers will be able to access instant, actionable data, allowing to them to identify whether the person stopped is, or is not, the person they need to speak to, without having to return to a police station."