Extra layer of security at this year’s Grand Prix


Live Facial Recognition is being used for the first time

The gates have opened for the first day of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone and this year Northamptonshire Police are deploying state-of-the-art technology to provide an extra layer of security at the event.

More than 450,000 people are expected to head to the circuit over the weekend.  In addition to armed officers, search teams, disruption officers and Automatic Number Plate Recognition units, this year Live Facial Recognition will also be in operation tomorrow and on Sunday.

This will be the first time that Live Facial Recognition has been deployed outside of the South Wales and Metropolitan Police areas.  

The technology works by scanning faces with a camera to match biometrics against those held on a watchlist. This list is generated by the police and focuses on those who pose the greatest risk of danger to the wider public in attendance.

The watchlist includes suspects who are wanted for offences or have an outstanding warrant for an arrest issued by the courts.   It will also spot those who pose a risk of harm to themselves or others and vulnerable missing people.

This year’s policing operation will be led by Event Commander for Northamptonshire Police, Detective Superintendent Richard Tompkins.  He said: “We have many years of experience leading the policing operation at the Formula 1 British Grand Prix however, with more than 450,000 expected to attend this year’s prestigious motor racing event, we simply cannot afford to become complacent.

“Each year brings its own challenges and to manage any incident, we have a robust policing plan in place which will see a large police presence in and around the circuit and wider venue as part of a multi-layered security operation, including the use of ANPR and LFR technology.

“Our priority will always be to protect the public while relentlessly pursuing those people who are determined to cause harm in our communities, and it is therefore important we embrace and use new technology to help us achieve this.

“The whole aim of using facial recognition technology is to keep the public safe and assist us in identifying serious offenders in order to protect the public from those individuals who pose significant risks.”

Last year seven people were arrested at Silverstone after a track invasion during the Grand Prix.   The invasion happened just moments after the race had started.

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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