The UK Metropolitan Police are testing facial-recognition software for the Olympics next year and have had the perfect field trial in the wake of this week's riots.
According to police officials, a system that was being considered for the Games has been being put through its paces as officers try to identify troublemakers that rioted across the UK.
Chief constable Andy Trotter of the British Transport Police told the Associated Press that the software was being used to identify people involved in the looting and violence, but said it was being used alongside conventional photo identifying methods.
A press officer with Scotland Yard confirmed that facial recognition technology was at the force's disposal, although an Olympics spokesperson for the Association of Chief Police Officers would only confirm that the police would be using “a range of technologies at the venues to help protect visitors”.
UK police forces have been mulling facial recognition for some time, but the plans to use the technology at the Olympics – and the use in spotting rioters – mark a new development.
The technology outlined in police documentation involves a dimensional grid system, with software used to compare the distances between features of a sample image with images of known criminals stored on a police database.
"You have to have a good picture of a suspect and it is only useful if you have something to match it against," a police spokesperson told the Associated Press. "In other words, the suspect already has to have a previous criminal record."
This article originally appeared at pcpro.co.uk