LAHORE: The Punjab police unveiled an artificial intelligence-powered ‘facial recognition system’ aimed at enhancing accountability, reliability, and efficiency in tracing and apprehending suspects and wanted criminals.

The newly introduced “Face Trace System (FTS)” utilises artificial intelligence to create a comprehensive data bank of over 18 million individuals, including suspects and criminals. This advanced facial recognition technology will enable law enforcement officers across Punjab province to efficiently locate wanted criminals and accused persons.

Inspector General Police (IGP) Dr Usman Anwar launched the system developed by Punjab Police Information Technology (IT) wing in collaboration with Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB). DIG Ahsan Younas, heading the IT Wing, collected data from various sections and organizations within the Punjab police, leading to the development of this advanced system.

The implementation of the FTS has been made accessible to investigating officers all over the province, significantly streamlining the identification process.

A senior police officer said that previously officers would rely on traditional methods, involving physical visits to various locations, resulting in considerable time and resource wastage. Now, with just the press of a button, investigating officers can instantly verify and identify suspects and criminals through the online platform.

The data compiled for the system includes 16 million records and pictures from the driving licenses branch, 1.8 million records from the Crime Record Branch, 1.3 million from the Punjab Khidmat Marakaz, and 300,000 records of accused individuals and criminals from Punjab prisons.

Moreover, the FTS will also aid in identifying and tracing suspects detected through CCTV cameras and other sources. The system is built with compatibility for the latest artificial intelligence technology, ensuring speedy arrests following accurate criminal identification.

Both the IGP and Mr Younas expressed their plans for further improvement of the system through training, integration, and feedback from the police force.

The IGP said that the system would be further improved in the light of training, practice, integration and feedback received from the force and it would be improved by linking it with the database of other institutions.

Mr Younas said districts have been informed about the use of FST.

“Soon the System will also be connected with e-police post, crime prevention app, etc”, he added.

He said that the FTS will speed up the process of arrest after identifying the criminals.

PITB Chairman Faisal Yousaf, additional DG Qasim Afzal, chief technical officer Adil Iqbal and Project Director Asim Iqbal were present in the ceremony.

PITB Chairman Faisal Yousaf, Additional DG Qasim Afzal, Chief Technical Officer Adil Iqbal, and Project Director Asim Iqbal were present at the ceremony.

Published in Dawn, July 26th, 2023

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