Around 90,000 people attending the five-day rock event in Derby will have their faces scanned by “strategically placed” cameras, which are then compared with a database of custody images across Europe.
The force has trialled the system since April 2014 in “controlled environments”, but this is the first time the portable NeoFace surveillance technology, made by NEC Corporation, is being used outdoors in the UK on this scale.
Leicestershire police said it hoped the system would enable them to find organised criminals who prey on festivalgoers who are often victims of theft.
This sounds a lot like the ‘Snooper Bowl’ deployment we had a role in back in 2001.
Facial recognition surveillance in an uncontrolled environment with non-participating individuals still presents significant technical challenges. Among them are lighting, pose angle, and perhaps most significantly, training users on how to evaluate the information the facial recognition system generates.
See also: Leicestershire Police defend facial recognition scans (BBC)