The Metropolitan Police’s use of facial recognition technology is to be examined by the independent panel that advises City Hall on the ethics of policing.
Deployed at last year’s Notting Hill Carnival and the Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Cenotaph, the force’s adoption of the technology has prompted questions from some London Assembly members concerned whether proper oversight arrangements are in place to govern its use.
This and other issues will now be considered by the London Policing Ethics Panel which will make recommendations to Mayor Sadiq Khan, who has strategic oversight of the Met, on how the technology can be used whilst also respecting the public’s rights.
In addition, the panel will scrutinise how the Met sets its priorities to meet rising and changing demands at a time when its funding is being cut.
Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, said: “The safety of Londoners is our number-one priority at City Hall and policing by consent plays a key role in that.
“This panel will help the Mayor and me to maintain oversight of the good work of the Met Police and ensure their work is conducted to the highest ethical standard.”
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Richard Martin said: “The Metropolitan Police Service is committed to ensuring we deliver an effective policing service to the communities of London which maintains the highest ethical standards.
“We understand the importance of maintaining trust and confidence in everything we do, which is integral to the principle of policing by consent.”
Dr Suzanne Shale, the panel’s new chair, said: “The Panel’s job is to help find the right course for London, one that helps us be the society we want to be.
“We have been impressed by the support and interest the Metropolitan Police Service has shown in the Panel’s work.
“We are also eager to engage Londoners as we debate difficult issues, and will be looking for innovative ways to do this as we develop our work.”