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Facial recognition technology deployed by police leads to three arrests in Ealing

Metropolitan Police arrested three people last Friday (12 April 2024) after live facial recognition (LFR) technology was deployed in Ealing.

Among those arrested was one man wanted for assault on an emergency worker. The new technology was only the second time it was used in the borough after being introduced earlier this month (3 April 2024) in Ealing Broadway.

Speaking to EALING.NEWS, Inspector Crystal Govers of the Met’s West Area Basic Command Unit which covers Ealing, Hillingdon and Hounslow said: “Live facial recognition is a real-time crime-fighting system that can help officers identify a person by comparing those who pass a LFR system with a watch list of pre-authorised digital images. LFR has the ability to help officers identify persons of interest to the police, protect the public and to keep London safe.”

Inspector Govers added: “The most recent operation took place on  Friday 12th April which resulted in three arrests of wanted people for various offences. This technology will continue to be utilised across WA in Ealing, Hillingdon & Hounslow bringing wanted offenders and people of interest to police notice.”

The introduction of facial recognition technology in Ealing comes after Chief Superintendent Sean Wilson, Borough Commander for the West Area revealed to Ealing Business Club last month how it will help police in combating crime.

He said on 14 March 2024: “We now are starting to experiment with live facial recognition and we’ll be doing an all party policy briefing. That is controversial. But if we’re to keep a step ahead, we must start using that technology.”

In a response, to the introduction of the technology, one resident posted on X that the Met needs to show data on how it is being used. They said: “You need to publish the results of these operations to justify what you are doing. If it doesn’t result in significant arrests then it becomes mass surveillance for its own sake which the public will not support.”

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