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Facial recognition technology

Avon and Somerset Police are in the early stages of investigating the use of Retrospective Facial Recognition (RFR) to support criminal investigations.

Retrospective Facial Recognition is a digital solution that will help the police to identify suspects more quickly. RFR is not used live. It is used as a post-event solution when a crime has taken place and a criminal investigation is under way.

RFR analyses still images of faces of people involved in criminal activity, taken from Body Worn Video, CCTV, mobile phone footage or social media. This is then compared against our custody image database, using the facial recognition software. An RFR operator will review the top matches generated by the software and if a match has been made, they will inform the investigating officer.

Avon and Somerset Police have no plans to use Live Facial Recognition (LFR) currently. LFR compares a live camera feed of faces against a predetermined watchlist of persons of interest for specific crime types in real time.

Further information about our use of RFR will be published to our website in September 2022.

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