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New Mobile App Lets Chennai Cops Scan Faces, Track Criminals; And It’s Already Nabbed Five!

While the app only takes 10 megabytes (MB) of space in the phone, the database of suspects is stored on an external server and is segregated to 16 categories such as theft, burglary, robbery and dacoity in Chennai.

The Chennai police will now catch criminals and offenders through a face detecting mobile application!

Following the successful implementation of face detection software, which was tested on CCTV cameras, the police officials decided to expand the provision and roped in a city firm to develop the mobile app.

‘FaceTagr’ app has the ability to scan the face of a suspect and look the person up in the inventory comprising known offenders in a span of few seconds.

In fact, the police have already solved five cases with the help of the app under the pilot project launched on November 1.

For representative purposes. Source: Wikimedia.

“We have installed the FaceTagr app on the phones of 500 police personnel in T Nagar including beat patrolling police, sector police personnel and station house officers in the rank of inspectors, sub-inspectors and assistant commissioners of police,” Deputy Commissioner of police S Aravindan told Times of India.

While the app only takes 10 megabytes (MB) of space in the phone, the database of suspects is stored on an external server and is segregated to 16 categories such as theft, burglary, robbery and dacoity in Chennai.

Once the scanned face is tracked in the database, the app lists out every known detail about the offender—from background to previous criminal records along with names of police stations where cases were lodged or pending against the person.

According to Chennai city police commissioner of police A K Viswanathan, the database already includes 12,000 offenders, which had been accumulated over the last four years.


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In order to ensure no criminal escapes from the watchful eyes of the police, the authorities intend to add around 40,000 more suspects to the database—a list that was compiled by the state crime record bureau (SCRB).

The face recognition app and cameras were initially introduced to help police to trace missing children in India.

“We managed to help rescue hundreds of children with the help of the app. We also installed our face recognition cameras at the Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar anniversary programme and Tiruvannamalai Deepam festival programme,” said Vijay Gnanadesikan, director and chief executive officer of FaceTagr, which developed the technology. He also added that the database on their server even had the capacity of maintaining criminals records from across the country.

Currently functional only on Android phones, the developers plan on extending the app to the iOS platform soon.

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Written by Lekshmi Priya S

Shuttling between existentialist views and Grey's Anatomy, Lekshmi has an insanely disturbing habit of binge reading. An ardent lover of animals and plants, she also specializes in cracking terribly sad jokes.