In Southeast China, the police used facial recognition tech to locate and detain a suspect from among a crowd of over 60,000 people. The event was that of a pop concert by popular Hong Kong singer Jacky Cheung while the fugitive was attending the show. The concert was being held in Nanchang, Jiangxi province.
The fugitive was successfully identified from within the crowd of thousands of attendees through the facial recognition technology, which provided surprisingly accurate results. Currently, the police haven’t revealed the full name of the suspect and he is being referred to with his family name Ao.
According to police officer Li Jin from Honggutan police station, the 31-year old suspect was involved in a number of ‘economic crimes’ and was already listed on the national online system as a fugitive. When the police got to him, said Officer Jin, the suspect was shocked and stared at the police with a blank face. Apparently, he thought that he was safe with thousands of people around him so there was little chance of him getting identified.
The suspect was located by security cameras at the ticket entrance of the concert venue and as soon as he was identified, he was apprehended by the police. There were several security cameras installed at the ticket entrances and all were equipped with facial recognition tech.
While speaking with Xinhua, a Chinese state news agency, Officer Jin revealed:
“The suspect looked completely caught by surprise when we took him away. He didn’t think the police would be able to catch him from a crowd of 60,000 so quickly.”
Reportedly, the suspect drove 90KM or 56miles to reach Nanchang from Zhangshu with his wife to attend the concert. New website Kan Kan released footage of the suspect while he was in the custody of the police; the footage shows him stating that:
“If I knew, I wouldn’t have gone [to the concert].”
This is, however, not the first time that Chinese police used facial recognition tech to identify and apprehend suspects. Last year in August, the police captured 25 suspects from the Qingdao International Beer Festival using a facial recognition system. This incident occurred in the Shandong province.
Perhaps, this is why China is regarded as the world leader in facial recognition tech and has time and again reminded its citizens that now they cannot evade the law enforcement authorities. In fact, China is reportedly building the world’s largest camera surveillance network.
China has already installed 170 million CCTV cameras and nearly 400 million new systems are due to be installed in the next three years. A majority of these cameras are equipped with AI and facial recognition.