Successful trials demonstrates facial recognition CCTV systems are perfect for combating prison drug smuggling

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Facial recognition technology is a very effective solution that enables the precise identification of visitors who may be trafficking drugs into prisons, Justice Secretary David Gauke has revealed.

A biometric system featuring facial recognition technology has been successfully tested at 3 jails and is part of a wider crackdown on drugs entering prisons, the government stated.

This trial comes against a backdrop of wide-ranging measures to tackle drugs and violence in prisons, including security scanners, drug search teams, digital technology to identify criminal kingpins and a Financial Crime Unit with the power to freeze suspect bank accounts linked to prisoners.

Intelligence work has identified a trend of prison visitors supplying illicit items to multiple prisoners and jails across the estate. These individuals have been difficult to track, however, as organised criminals may also falsify their identity documentation.

While some prisons have fingerprint recognition, most sites use paper-based verification, using documents like driving licences. In addition to being open to abuse by contraband traffickers, this system is slow and resource intensive.

The state-of-the-art biometric technology allows prison staff to identify visitors using applications based around document validation, iris scanning and facial recognition software.

It has been successfully trialled at HMP Hull, Humber and Lindholme. The Prison Service is now looking at how this, and other similar technology, could be used most effectively across the estate.

The machines highlight suspicious individuals, allowing staff to refuse entry and providing evidence that could be used in any subsequent Prison Service or police investigation. This will mean police and prison staff can better target the activity of those that seek to bring drugs into prison – disrupting their criminal networks.

It can also act as a deterrent, with one trial prison seeing a higher than usual ‘no shows’ rate at visits after attendees found out the software would be in operation.

CCTV Surveillance – The experts in deploying Facial Recognition CCTV systems

The Facial Recognition CCTV solution supplied by CCTV Surveillance dynamically compares images of individuals from incoming video streams against those stored in a predefined access control list and immediately sends alerts when a positive match occurs.

The technology yields a very good level of performance despite partial occlusions of the face, the use of glasses, scarves or caps, changes of facial expression, and moderate rotations of the face. Moreover, it does not allow users to be impersonated using photographs.

This biometric technology is the perfect solution to control the access to restricted security areas, especially since we’re talking about a completely automated system that requires very little interaction with the operator.

Our Facial Recognition CCTV system can be easily integrated with existing ID management products and enables administrators to easily create Whitelists/Blacklists for specific areas, while subjects can be very easily enrolled from one or more photographs.

The system fully supports runtime alarm management, is highly tunable (control based on time-frames, sequentially, etc) and even allows alarms to be exported to common formats (PDF, Excel) and remote devices (mobile, PDA, tablet, security control centre).


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