New Facial Recognition Can Help Catch Crooks From Surveillance Images

In Chicago, a bank robber nicknamed the “Wicker Park Bandit” has hit 10 banks, so far. Police have no leads on who this bank robber is, even though the Wicker Park Bandit has been bold enough to show his face during robberies, giving surveillance cameras a clear view of him.

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It makes us wonder, why aren’t Chicago police using facial recognition software like the L.A. police? In Lancaster, CA, police are utilizing software that analyzes thousands of mug shots for a possible match to the face captured on surveillance cameras. The police advise that the facial recognition software is not “absolute”, and is used as an additional tool to help identify suspects. So far though, it’s worked, and helped to catch two armed robbers.

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With such clear images from IP cameras, it’s a shame more police aren’t using facial recognition. It would sure save a lot of time, money and resources, and help put more crooks behinds bars. The only problem though, is suspects must be “in the system” previously.

Security may not have reached it’s full potential with facial recognition, but IP cameras are getting smarter. With video analytics built in, surveillance cameras can help alert the user when something is “not right”. Surveillance cameras can:

  • Detect abandoned, moving, or removed objects in an image, such as an abandoned brief case in a public place
  • Movement in areas where there shouldn’t be any, such as in a retail store at night
  • Absence of an object that should ordinarily be in a picture, such as an artwork in a museum
  • Detect abnormal noises in the camera’s immediate vicinity, ranging from the sound of gunshots to someone tampering with the camera or physically abusing it
  • Additional video analytics can be provided by computer-based recording hardware programmed to recognize faces, shapes, objects, and other user-determined details
Having a wonderfully clear, IP surveillance camera capturing a crime in progress is half the battle. The other half is identifying the suspect in the surveillance images. As fast as technology moves, do you think Chicago will soon be using facial recognition software to help identify suspects?