Australia’s Northern Territory police force deploys NEC facial recognition

September 3, 2015 - 

Australia’s Northern Territory Police force has deployed NEC Australia’s facial biometrics solution, NeoFace Reveal, to help officers better identify people and potential suspects, according to a report by Armnet.

The solution, which was recently tested in the NT Police’s successful pilot program, will improve the effectiveness of closed-circuit (CCTV) footage for investigation purposes.

Using NeoFace Reveal, NT police officers will be able to search through a database of images and match against CCTV footage and photos captured by body-worn cameras, drones and smartphones.

The NT Police database currently contains 100,000 images that have been copied from existing police information holdings.

During the pilot phase, NT police used NeoFace Reveal to identify over 300 people, including an unconscious man admitted to the Royal Darwin Hospital after having been violently assaulted.

“The technology is helping reduce investigation times by enabling investigators to quickly identify or rule out suspects soon after a crime has been committed,” said Police Minister Peter Chandler. “It could also assist police to identify missing persons and those in the community who suffer from Alzheimer’s or other similar health issues, to assist police in getting them the care they need. The chief advantage of face recognition over fingerprint identification is that face images can be captured from a distance without touching the person being identified.”

The network is comprised of 190 cameras, which monitor the police department’s CCTV unit, including mobile CCTV units that can be relocated to hotspots and major public events.

In addition, the government has issued 1,330 iPads to police officers as well as implemented satellite communications in 51 police vehicles in remote locations.

Previously reported, the South Australian Police invested $1.5 million on facial recognition technology enabling officers to scan images of suspected offenders against their existing databases, either from a mobile device or desktop computer.

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.