Dutch police use facial recognition to ID 93 suspects
20 February 2018 17:04 GMT

Police in the Netherlands have lauded the results of face recognition software in matching suspects.

The Dutch police identified 93 suspects using facial recognition system Catch last year, tech site Tweakers reports.

The police launched the Catch system in 2016. With this system, photos of suspects are compared with photos on a database of over 800 thousand convicted criminals or suspects in other crimes, according to Tweakers. Photos of suspects can come from various places, such as ATM cameras or surveillance camera footage. 

If the system detects a match, two experts investigate it independently. If both confirm the match, the police consider it a strong indication that the matched photo is the suspect they are looking for. However, this is not considered 'hard evidence' like finger prints.

Last year the police processed nearly a thousand photographs through the Catch system. A match was found in around 10 percent of the cases. In cases where no match was made, the quality of the photo used was too low, or the person in question is not yet registered in the database. 

John Riemen, a biometrics specialist working for the police, told NRC that he is surprised by the accuracy of the Catch system. "Even if you put a photo with a covered face or a hat through the system, a positive result often rolls out", he said to the newspaper.