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Uttarakhand Police acquire face recognition software to help nab criminals

Apart from Uttarakhand, police in some neighbouring states have also agreed to acquire such software and link their databases with each other’s to improve co-ordination and efficiency.

Updated: Aug 27, 2018 12:39:59

By Kalyan Das

Uttarakhand Police Headquarters in Dehradun. The Special Task Force of the state police has acquired a face recognition software. (Vinay Santosh Kumar / HT File Photo )

The Special Task Force (STF) of Uttarakhand Police has acquired a face recognition software that would help it in recognising and nabbing criminals.

Under the project, the STF would have photographs of all criminals listed by police so as to match their face on their arrest at any place.

Senior superintendent of police, STF, Ridhim Aggrawal said, “The software has been acquired under Project Pratibimb (reflection).”

“This newly acquired software would work on the lines of the one used by world’s prime investigative agencies like Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the US. It would help the state police to nab the criminals who are absconding and police either don’t have their latest photograph or have a very old one,” she added.



The software has been acquired from an India company.

Aggrawal, while explaining the mechanism of the software on which it will work, said, “It has very complex mechanism of operation. It would not only recognise face and outer facial features of a suspect or arrested criminal but also comprehensive bone structure.”

“With this, even if police have a 20-year-old photograph of a wanted or absconding criminal, the software would match his current photograph with the old one in its database. It would match the two photographs by mapping the underlying bone structure of the face,” she said.

Apart from Uttarakhand, police in some neighbouring states have also agreed to acquire such software and link their databases with each other’s to improve co-ordination and efficiency.

“The states which have agreed to acquire such a software for their respective police departments, include Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. As Uttar Pradesh is the most important neighbouring state for Uttarakhand in terms of crime, efforts are on to first link our database with theirs and then others.”

Another senior police official, on condition of anonymity, said, “The need for this software arose after the arrest of two left-wing extremists in June in Udham Singh Nagar district.”

“Local police had nabbed them after receiving a tip-off that the two were carrying some suspected Maoist literature. The two identified as Ramesh Bhatt alias Manish Master and Manoj Kumar alias Arvind were high value targets for police, but local police failed to identify them. Later when the intelligence unit found their details they realised that they had caught some big fish,” said the official attached to police headquarters.

“Local police didn’t have their latest photographs which resulted in the situation. After which the department contemplated to acquire the software.”

First Published: Aug 27, 2018 12:39:59

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