Singapore trialing NEC facial recognition tech to fight crime more efficiently

The Singapore government is working with NEC to fight crime more efficiently and effectively, according to a report in The Straits Times.

Concept trials began this year using NEC’s Neoface facial recognition technology.

“… we are looking at an integrated approach that can give us a situation picture (using) video surveillance and that can help enhance our officers’ sense-making and decision-making,” explained Lawrence Tham, deputy director of strategy and concept generation under the Ministry of Home Affairs’ ops-tech group. “That is key to the Home Team.”

The Smart Command Centre accesses Singapore’s wide network of closed-circuit surveillance cameras and drones. It is able to recognize faces in a crowd and pick out people on police watchlists or those who seem to be behaving suspiciously. The system lets police zoom in on a particular individual, plotting across data sets from multiple camera images to form a timeline of their movement patterns.

“Video surveillance is not new,” added Tham. “It is common and widely deployed, but NEC’s system is not just about surveillance. It is one in which we can detect, tag and track a person, which will come in useful during a manhunt. We can locate him or her anywhere in Singapore and this is very powerful for law enforcement agencies.”

All this information can be synchronised in real time to officers’ smartphones.

In a recent research report, Biometrics Research Group Inc. projected that the global law enforcement biometrics market will grow to US$18 billion by 2020.

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