How the Met can make your face fit

14.03.14: LAWYERS are concerned that convictions based on electronic face recognition could be unsound, following revelations that closed-circuit TV images can be doctored by the police.

Howard Davies, a Metropolitan Police CCTV official facing charges of stalking and sexual harassment, told the High Court how he altered, repositioned and removed figures from footage in order to 'get a result'.

Under cross-examination Davies disclosed that the CCTV department was a 'honeypot for perverts, racists and bent cops'. Officers routinely used the technology for voyeuristic or malicious purposes. Davies claimed that street-mounted cameras, designed to protect pupils at a south London school, were used to spy on the girls through their changing-room window.

His most worrying admission, however, was that operators often 'morphed and grafted' images in order to fit an individual to a crime.

'It didn't matter who'd really done it,' he claimed. 'We could knock up a convincing film in minutes, using a face from our suspect files.' SC

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