Moment police fine pedestrian after he covered face from facial recognition camera

Rebecca Speare-Cole
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Moment police fine pedestrian after he covered face from facial recognition camera

Footage has shown the moment police fined a pedestrian £90 for disorderly behaviour after he tried to cover his face from a facial recognition camera in London.

Police set up the camera on a van in east London which matches faces of passers-by with a database of wanted suspects, according to BBC Click.

One man walking past hid his face with his hat and jacket as he spotted the camera in Romford.

He was later handed a fine for disorderly behaviour, the clip shows.

The man claimed he was fined by police (BBC Click)

After being stopped the man asked an officer: "How would you like it if you walked down the street and someone grabbed your shoulder? You wouldn't like it, would you?"

The officer told him: '"Calm yourself down or you're going in handcuffs. It's up to you."

Following the fine, the man told a BBC reporter: "The chap told me down the road - he said they've got facial recognition. So I walked past like that (covering my face).

"It's a cold day as well. As soon as I've done that, the police officer's asked me to come to him. So I've got me back up. I said to him 'f*** off', basically.

"I said 'I don't want me face shown on anything. If I want to cover me face, I'll cover me face, it's not for them to tell me not to cover me face.

"I've got a now £90 fine, here you go, look at that. Thanks lads, £90. Well done."

Silkie Carlo, the director of civil liberties group Big Brother Watch, was at the scene holding a placard saying 'stop facial recognition' and defended the man saying, “what’s the suspicion? I would do the same.”

Later the man added: “I don’t want me face showing on anything.”

Facial recognition cameras are being trialled in parts of Britain with police saying they are necessary for cracking down on crime.

Privacy campaigners say there is no legislation regarding facial recognition and it is being used without regulation.

The Home Office has previously said facial recognition can be an “invaluable tool” in fighting crime.

The Met Police have now concluded the trial and are awaiting the results of an independent evaluation.

When the technology was first deployed by South Wales Police before the Championship League Final in Cardiff in 2007, it wrongly paired more than 2,000 people to suspects.