South Wales Police first force to make arrests using facial recognition

There have been 12 arrests made using Automated Facial Recognition Credit: PA images

South Wales Police are the first police force in the UK to make an arrest using special facial recognition software.

The force located a 34-year-old man wanted on recall to prison during the Champions League week in Cardiff last summer.

Since then, there have been 50 charges and 12 arrests using the technology, with 8 prison sentences handed down. The charges include theft, sexual offences, burglary, robbery and drug offences.

South Wales Police say they have addressed any concerns about privacy, and will continue the trial of the technology until March.

Automated Facial Recognition (AFR) 'Locate' is a real time solution which utilises live feeds from CCTV typed cameras based either at specific, fixed locations or cameras secured to the top of a police vehicle to locate people on watch lists.

Additionally, Automated Facial Recognition (AFR) 'Identify' allows officers to load images of persons of interest and compare them against half a million custody images for a possible match.

The software isn't limited to criminal investigations.

It can also help with identifying missing persons or those suffering from Alzheimer's or other similar health issues, which allow officers to safeguard the vulnerable, quicker.