NT police arrest hundreds with new facial recognition tech

The Northern Territory Police Force is utilising facial biometrics technology to identify and detain wanted criminals.

Following a trial earlier this year with NEC Australia’s NeoFace Reveal solution, the NT police have identified around 300 wanted individuals with facial recognition technology as part of an enhancement of its regularly closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage.

The NT Government has announced it will move to broaden the application of facial recognition technology in crime fighting following the successful trial phase with NEC.

The system allows police personnel to rapidly search through their database of images from CCTV footage, drones, phones and body-worn cameras to find ID matches without touching the person in question, unlike traditional fingerprint identification.

Footage or images captured on CCTV footage are submitted to NT Police’s facial recognition team who can load it into the facial recognition system for analysis and comparison with existing images in the database.

The new system plays a key role in NT Police’s investment in mobile technology across handheld devices and image capture equipment.

So far, 100,000 images have been copied into the system database from existing Police information holdings, according to NEC.

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There are currently 190 cameras in the network monitored by the police department’s CCTV unit, in addition to the recently deployed mobile CCTV units that can be moved on-demand to ‘hot spots’ and major public events.

The government has also issued 1330 iPads to police officers and installed satellite communications in 51 police vehicles in remote locations.

NEC’s Australian research and development team based is also working closely with NT Police to develop applications using facial biometrics technology that can meet the NT Police operational requirements.

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“The technology is helping reduce investigation times by enabling investigators to quickly identify or rule out suspects soon after a crime has been committed,” said NT Police Minister, Peter Chandler.

“It could also assist police to identify missing persons and also those in the community who suffer from Alzheimer’s or other similar health issues to assist police in getting them the care they need.”

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By Bonnie Gardiner

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