Being arrested does not make a person guilty of a crime. Often people who are arrested are found to have done nothing wrong.
When a person is arrested and taken into custody the police take photographs of the person’s face from different angles. This is known as a custody image.
If a person is found to be innocent or released without charge, their fingerprints and DNA are automatically deleted; their custody images are not.
A custody image is kept by the local force and can be added to the Police National Database used by all forces in the UK.
There are 19 million custody images on the Police National Database – many of those images are of completely innocent people.
12.5 million of those images have been made into facial biometrics. A facial biometric is as unique as fingerprints and DNA.
The Government say facial images are not intrusive and the police should be allowed to retain them unless the person requests removal.
But the creation of a facial biometric makes an image as sensitive as fingerprints and DNA.
Police are using these custody images for their live facial recognition ‘watchlists’, matching them against people in public places.
Automatic deletion on proof of innocence should be implemented for custody images and facial biometrics.
This is why we say take innocent people’s FaceOff police databases.