"Clacton-on-Sea, in Essex, may seem an unlikely venue for cutting edge law enforcement, but it is the home of COUNTER CRIME PARTNERSHIP..."

File on 4 has been tracking the roll-out of facial recognition tech across Britain’s streets, shopping centres and football grounds. The Metropolitan Police has announced it will use live facial recognition cameras operationally for the first time on London streets. The force sees the technology as a vital tool in the fight against crime. But privacy campaigners say it's a 'serious threat to civil liberties.' The pace is frenetic – new computer systems can watch thousands of people at once, with the most powerful able to operate at distances of over a mile. They can do all of this in “real-time”, meaning everyone who passes by the camera can be scanned against a “watchlist” of suspects. But technology like this means more and more innocent people are affected. Yet the public are not always explicitly warned, and neither are the regulators.

The legislation surrounding facial recognition is new and mostly untested, leading to calls for stricter, more specific laws to be passed. Meantime, the Surveillance Camera Commissioner has called for a regime of inspections of the technology for both public and private bodies; a call backed by the veteran Conservative MP David Davis. Facial recognition may be new, but it still begs an urgent answer to an age-old question: who watches the watchers? Searach your Podcast provder for "File on 4 Facial Recognition" or click on Play below... 

Reporter: Geoff White

Producer: Helen Clifton

Editor: Carl Johnston

CCP can be adopted by Community Safety Partnerships (CSP), Business Improvement Districts (BID) or Businessess Against Crime (BAC) organisations either in full under the CCP branding OR white labelled under a district's existing scheme branding. 


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