Tuesday 12 December 2017

New facial recognition technology for gardaí

Ian Redican, Detective Garda, Photographic Section, demonstrates the new EvoFit system to Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan. Photo: Caroline Quinn
Ian Redican, Detective Garda, Photographic Section, demonstrates the new EvoFit system to Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan. Photo: Caroline Quinn

Sam Griffin

Gardai were able to identify two suspects in serious crime investigations because of new state-of-the-art facial recognition technology.

The new system, called Evo-FIT, was unveiled at Garda headquarters in Dublin yesterday. Gardaí say the computer system has dramatically improved suspect identification rates in the UK where it is used by 16 police services.

It differs from the previous system in place as it uses the recognition memory of a witness rather than just their recall memory.

Under the new system, which cost around €11,000, a witness is asked to remember the face, including distinguishing features like gender, race and age, as a whole and is then presented with 18 faces from a database which resembles what they saw.

As they progress through the phases, the faces are whittled down as a more-accurate picture is created of the suspect as remembered by a victim or witness to a crime.

The programme also has a series of 'holistic' tools which can redefine the face in a range of ways, including making faces older or younger as well as features like adding or removing stubble, or changing skin complexion.

An image is then created which gardaí can use in their investigations. The image can be distributed among gardaí or sent to media outlets as part of public appeals and can then be presented as evidence in court cases.

The system can be used remotely allowing officers to travel to garda stations around the country as well as people's homes or even hospitals in the case where a witness or victim is injured.

Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan said it was part of the force's "commitment to innovation and continuous improvement".

Irish Independent

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