Police need to change their procedures in order to get consistent results when using facial recognition technology according to new research.
The Police Science Institute at Cardiff University have conducted the first independent academic evaluation of Automated Facial Recognition (AFR). They say considerable investment is needed to improve the deployment of the technology.
AFR has been used by South Wales Police at major events like the UEFA Champions League Final and Autumn International Rugby fixtures. But researchers found in 68% of cases where police used still images from AFR, the image quality was not good enough.
When Automated Facial Recognition was used to scan faces from CCTV footage, there was a 76% success rate in correctly identifying a person of interest. Over the course of the team's evaluation, the accuracy of the technology improved significantly and researchers say police got better at using it.
A total of 18 arrests were made using the technology during the research period. Over 100 people were charged following investigative searches aided by AFR between July 2017 and March 2018.