The British police are developing the first national database of mugshots, in order to use face recognition technology to match CCTV images with details of offenders.
The system is being developed as a pilot scheme involving the Lancashire, West Yorkshire and Merseyside police. It has already generated a database of more than 750,000 facial images over the past 18 months.
Are there really that many criminals in that part of the UK?
Peter Neyroud, the chief executive of the National Police Improvement Agency (NPIA), wants the system up and running in time for the 2012 London Olympics.
The system will enable officers on the beat to be equipped with advanced "second-generation" hand-held computers which can take and transmit fingerprints, download mugshots and details from the police national computer, and access images from local CCTV cameras.
Funny how the Olympics are being used as an excuse/deadline for increased surveillance!