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  1. ITV Report

Police make first arrest using facial recognition technology

New vans have the words "facial recognition fitted" on them Credit: South Wales Police

Police in Wales have used facial recognition technology to make an arrest for the first time, identifying a suspect by matching his face against images stored in a database.

The man was arrested at the end of last month by South Wales Police using the new tools, the force confirmed.

A month long trial of the technology began at the Champions League final in Cardiff, but police say the arrest was unconnected.

The new technology was trialled at the Champion's League Final in Cardiff Credit: PA

South Wales police said if the trial is successful it will look to extend its use of facial recognition to stop crimes before they happen.

Experts say the cameras, created by security firm NEC, could be used to help prevent terrorist attacks.

The technology, which is being tested in other locations in the UK, is already in use in electronic passport control gates.

This facial recognition technology will enable us to search, scan and monitor images and video of suspects against offender databases, leading to the faster and more accurate identification of persons of interest.The technology can also enhance our existing CCTV network in the future by extracting faces in real time and instantaneously matching them against a watch list of individuals, including missing people.

We are very cognisant of concerns about privacy and we are building in checks and balances into our methodology to reassure the public that the approach we take is justified and proportionate.

– Assistant Chief Constable Richard Lewis, South Wales police