In 2019, facial recognition technology helped police detect 98 people, John Riemen of the Center for Biometrics told NU.nl on Friday. These are people who are suspected of an offense or who were otherwise involved in a police investigation.
The police have been using the CATCH system since December 2016 to identify someone. The software compares images, for example from security cameras or social media, with a database of 2.2 million photos of a total of 1.3 million people.
The police speak of a match if, after analysis of the scanning software, an investigating officer determines that the image provided corresponds to someone from the linked personnel database. Two biometric experts then examine the comparison. That conclusion ultimately determines whether the judgment will be included in follow-up research.
The police can use CATCH for their own investigations to find out whether a suspect is already in the database, but also receive requests from foreign investigative authorities. The police may then be able to help identify the identity of a person who has come into contact with the police in the Netherlands in the past.
In the first year the software was used, 93 people were identified. In 2018, that number was 82. The Center for Biometrics transports nearly a thousand photos per year through the system. It is unclear how often a match leads to a detention or ultimately to a conviction.