Grampian Police to Use Biometric Facial Recognition to Identify Suspects in Seconds

Steria, a leading European IT services provider, has been chosen by the Grampian Police Force in Scotland, to provide a biometric facial recognition system that will dramatically enhance the investigative capabilities of the force. Steria will work with its biometric partner, Imagis Inc., to integrate Imagis’ ID-2000 face recognition technology to confirm the identities of suspects by cross-checking against photographic records. This is the same technology that was used to protect world leaders, including US President George W. Bush, at the 10th APEC Summit in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, in October 2002.

ID-2000 is highly advanced software technology that identifies an individual using 692 facial descriptors to capture and identify a face. Importantly, ID-2000 works with all races and genders and accommodates changes in hairstyles, or the growth/shaving of a beard. The technology can be used to identify suspects from images such as video, CCTV, photographs, artists’ composite drawing and police e-fits.

Imagis’ facial recognition software will be integrated into Steria’s CellFile “nominal search” mechanism to search Grampian’s existing database of images. A nominal file is a text and photograph record of an individual. By integrating with Imagis’ software, the system will be able to identify a face by searching 15 million records within one minute. Consequently, suspect identifications that may have taken months of police time previously, can now be completed successfully within seconds.

Head of CID at Grampian Police, Detective Chief Superintendent Keith Wilkins said, “The Force has earned a deserved reputation for being at the forefront in police use of information technology. The adoption of facial recognition technology and integrating it with our existing files puts Grampian at the cutting edge of policing today. The reason is rather simple – facial recognition allows us to identify suspects very quickly. The benefits for the community are obvious.”

Steve Smith, biometrics business development manager, Steria said, “the Grampian Police project and projects such as the Eurodac Fingerprint Identification System—which Steria implemented for the EU, providing 16 European countries with access to an “Asylum Seekers’ fingerprint database—means Steria’s expertise in biometrics is now recognised internationally. Steria is proud to provide state of the art systems that help our law enforcement agencies in the fight against crime. Grampian Police joins a group, including the National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS), the Scottish Criminal Records Office (SCRO), West Midlands Police and Customs and Excise, all of whom have had “imaging’ systems implemented by Steria.”

“Our ID-2000 software is leading the way in biometric facial recognition and the fast identification capabilities it will give to Grampian Police should prove invaluable”, said Iain Drummond President and CEO of Imagis Technologies Inc. “Imagis is proud to partner with Steria to provide a state of the art law enforcement solution to the Grampian Police Force.”

The ID-2000 face recognition and law enforcement software solutions have been endorsed by leading security agencies and police organisations around the world as an effective measure in identifying criminals, reducing fraud, assisting investigations, and preventing terrorism.

ID-2000’s proprietary technology uses more than 692 facial descriptors to capture and identify a face. This is ten times more than other technologies.

At the very heart of the technology is a unique method of capturing facial data that is intrinsically more accurate. Whereas other solutions are limited through their reliance on outmoded facial recognition methods (namely local feature analysis and eigenface techniques), ID-2000 uses a combination of spectral analysis and 3-D modeling to locate and fit a face.

Once a face has been identified, it is converted into a deformable surface model that takes into account the values of pitch, yaw, and roll of the head, and re-rendered using various light sources. This surface modeling allows the face detection to work accurately with an infinite number of face shapes (not just the “universal facial shapes” used in eigenface-based approaches).

Once a face has been captured and rendered, the software uses a proprietary algorithm to produce a wavelet that is unique to that image. It is this wavelet (compressed and encoded) that is used to make comparisons quickly in both one-to-one and one-to-many searches.

About Steria Ltd (
Steria in the UK combines expertise in e-consultancy, applications, secure e-business solutions, intrusion protection technology, managed hosting services, network management and infrastructure management, with a focus on major business sectors: public sector, finance, manufacturing and utilities. Steria employs 1,800 people in the UK.

About Steria (
With 2002 revenue of €1.018bn and 8,500 employees, Steria is one of the top ten IT services companies in Europe. Present in 12 countries worldwide, the Group is positioned as an IT services global operator thanks to the mastery of its three core businesses: consulting, systems integration and managed services.

Its acknowledged expertise in managing large-scale projects and its range of industrialised solutions in Europe enable Steria to offer its customers a reliable service with commitment to cost and risk control. The Group has strong sector-based expertise in the Public Services, Banking and Insurance, Manufacturing/Utilities/Transport and Telecommunications markets.

Created in 1969, the Steria group is a pioneer in employee shareholding, with 31% of its capital being held by employees. Steria is listed on the Premier Marché of the Paris Stock Exchange and in the SBF 120 index.

About Grampian (
Grampian Police was formed on 16 May 1975 when the former forces of Aberdeen City Police and the Scottish North Eastern Counties Constabulary (SNECC) amalgamated on the re-organisation of local government. The force area covers 3,253 square miles stretching from the Cairngorm Mountains in the west to the Moray and Aberdeenshire coasts to the north and east. The area has a population of over 520,000. Further details on the Grampian Police Force can be found online at

About Imagis Technologies Inc. (
Imagis Technologies Inc. (OTCBB:IGSTF; TSX.V:NAB; Germany:IGY) develops and markets identification systems and database management applications based on advanced biometric face and image recognition technologies. These include identification and security solutions for use in law enforcement and public safety, airports, customs and immigration, driver’s licenses and passports, and other government agency and private sector initiatives. Imagis works in partnership with Briyante Software Corporation to enable information across disparate and incompatible data sources to be searched against text, face, or image, regardless of the database type or location.

The Company, whose Chairman is Oliver “Buck” Revell, the former Associate Deputy Director of the FBI, has over 140 installations of its software located across the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Latin America, and Asia Pacific. This includes one of the UK’s National Police Agencies; more than 100 Royal Canadian Mounted Police, police, and sheriff departments across the United States and Canada; New Zealand Customs; and Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.

Don't miss