Monday, 3 December 2007

Police profiling

A company with a suitably scary name; OmniPerception, has sold some software to the Met Police that automatically scans images for logos.

The idea is to avoid the manual process of scouring through hours of CCTV footage. Its main use is in sports marketing for sponsors to analyse their brand exposure. But the police now want to use it because they have developed ‘criminal profiles’ that involve preferences for particular logos and styles of dress.

Apparently branded sportswear, particularly with hoodies, is a favourite of the criminal classes (!?!) So that should safely eliminate anyone who is white, over 55 and lives in the Home Counties from any enquiries. Which may of course well be the objective.

For fuck sake ! – This kind of pseudo-science is no more than institutionalised prejudice. The Victorian criminologists were obsessed with the idea that the criminal classes could be identified by the bone structure of their heads and the shape of their eyebrows. Maybe we haven’t come so far.

Still the scariness of this story is somewhat off-set by the news that police are also conducting a (finger-tip ?) search of rubbish tips in the hunt for the missing Child Benefit CD’s.

We may be heading for a bigoted police state but at least the good news is that the police are still as stupid as ever...

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