The use of technology in law enforcement is becoming increasingly popular. Only recently there have been trials for wearable cameras in body armour for police in the London, UK. Also, police officers around the globe are trialling the use of Google Glass to enable them to perform their duties better. But it isn’t only the use of wearable tech that is hitting the headlines and making a difference as we see from Chicago police’s use of NeoFace.
Pierre D Martin, 35, was captured on CCTV cameras committing an act of robbery on two men at gunpoint in separate attacks back in 2013. The images that were taken were subsequently processed through NeoFace, a face-recognition programme that was purchased by Chicago police for $5.4m (£3.2m). NeoFace cross-referenced the facial image with 4.5 million police records.
Martin, who has previous convictions for unlawful use of a weapon and possession of a stolen vehicle, returned as a likely match. The image of Martin had been on the police database since back in 2009. Witnesses to the attacks then identified him in police line-ups. A judge found Martin guilty of robbing a 20-year-old man who was just listening to music on headphones on February 9, 2013. Martin approached the victim from behind, pulled a gun and then demanded his mobile phone. He had previously stolen a mobile phone from another man at the very same place. Martin is the first person to be convicted as a result of Chicago police’s software.
State attorney for Cook County, Anita Alvarez said, “This case is a great example that these high-tech tools are helping to enhance identification and lead us to defendants that might otherwise evade capture.”
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