The police identified slightly fewer suspects with facial recognition in 2018 than a year earlier. The scanning software for the 'face database' led to a match in 82 cases last year, the National Unit announced Monday at the request of A year earlier there were 93 cases.

The scanning software has been used since December 2016 on the so-called Criminal Justice Chain Database (SKDB), in which images of convicts and suspects of serious crimes are stored.

In July it was announced that this SKDB is filled with the faces of a total of 1.3 million people. Someone is added if the person in the Netherlands is suspected of having committed a crime for at least four years in prison.

Recognition in one in eleven cases

The scanning software makes clear whether there are indications that an image of someone matches a face from the SKDB.

As far as is known, in about one in eleven cases this led to a possible recognition that led to a follow-up investigation. Since the system was taken into use in December 2016, a total of 1,938 photos have been supplied, from which the software was targeted in 175 cases.

From December 2016 to December 2017, another 977 images were compared with the software, out of which 93 suspects were probably identified (9.5 percent). In 2018, the software hit 8.5 percent of the total of 961 images supplied.

Part of the images could not be used for the software. This can occur, for example, if the exposure is not good. In the first year in which the software was applied, it involved 149 photos. In 2018, 280 images were unusable.

Scanning software compares image of suspects with database

Investigation officers can give a photo or image from a video to the scanning software to identify suspects in an ongoing investigation. This software searches the database with hundreds of thousands of suspects and convicts for agreements.

The scanning software then displays a list of candidates, after which it is up to a police officer to assess whether the person matches the image provided. Here the police determine whether there is a match or not.

The expert's opinion is taken into account in the follow-up investigation. Two other police officers look at the comparison again separately from each other. The most cautious judgment is included in the final report.