Facial Recognition

Published on 27 May 2024

As part of broader Home Office efforts to reduce crime, the Department is working to scale-up the use and capability of Police Forces in England and Wales’ use of facial recognition. This covers retrospective, operator-initiated and live facial recognition. Facial recognition is a key tool that is helping the police to solve and prevent crimes and bring offenders to justice.  It also frees up police time and resources, meaning more officers can be out on the beat, engaging with communities and carrying out complex investigations. The Home Office has been working with Police Forces and industry to develop a facial recognition scale-up plan. Our capability roadmap, produced in collaboration with NPCC and agreed at the Minister Philp-chaired Strategic Change and Investment Board December 2023. JSaRC has support the industry engagement aspects of this scale-up.

So far, JSaRC has ensured key messages are communicated to industry, supported the drafting of an industry engagement plan, communicated key industry messages inside Government and sought to bring alignment to industry development and Home Office planning and understanding. JSaRC has organised an industry roundtable organised a facial recognition industry day, at its Cambridge offices. The industry day focussed on how facial recognition can best support policing objectives and showcased the latest technology on offer and ask key questions to Government. The event also provided an opportunity for Industry, Policing and Government officials to network and understand what was being developed in the future and the capabilities. The event was attended by the Minister for Policing, Crime and Fire, senior officials from across the Home Office and industry leaders in the area.

The Minister for Policing, Crime and Fire communicating his priorities in this area and how industry could support the Home Office.

Post event the feedback has been very positive, “it reinforced the importance being placed on FR by the Policing Minister”.

Following on from the event JSaRC will be producing a market intelligence report to identify suitable technologies and drive industry engagement events working with Home Office officials. This will be reviewed and taken forward as part of the Home Office’s strategy to scale up the use of facial recognition in policing.