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Vista CCTV and Facewatch, the UKs leading retail crime deterrent solution using facial recognition, are excited to announce their new partnership to deliver facial recognition software to the security industry.

This new alliance offers large and small business owners alike the opportunity to secure their establishments against low level crime without needing to replace any current cameras or systems.

Dean Kernot, Vista Sales & Marketing Manager, comments:

 This is a really exciting partnership. Retail crime is a growing issue for retailers and Facewatch offers a legal and safe way to provide a deterrent to both shop theft and violence in store. Vista will be working with our network to train, support and deliver this new ground-breaking technology.”

 Nick Fisher, CEO, Facewatch

 “The Facewatch facial recognition system delivers a game changing technology which is incredibly accurate and fully GDPR compliant. Our solution is aimed at making the retail and hospitality environment safer by providing a deterrent against store theft and bad behaviour.  As a technology focussed business, we can only succeed by working with established and successful partners in the security industry that share our goals and passion. Vista are leaders in their field, and we are astonishingly privileged to be able to work with them to enable Facewatch to scale rapidly by building, with Vista, a network of accredited partners”

The Facewatch facial recognition solution is fully GDPR compliant and Facewatch remain as the data controller. Already an established provider of facial recognition solutions, this has been tested extensively in the retail sector over the last 18 months.

Facewatch is sold as a licenced-based product, creating a recurring revenue stream for installers who will provide ongoing technical and product management support to their customers.

The solution will be available via Vista accredited partners who have been trained both in practical security system set up and ensuring end user compliance whilst using the Facewatch system.

Vista CCTV company background:

 Vista is a UK based manufacturer of Video Surveillance Systems and hosted Access Control systems. Owned and exclusively distributed by leading security supplier Norbain SD, we have made it our mission to understand our customers’ needs. Our CCTV security solutions offer innovative products, using the most powerful and stable technologies – wrapped up in a support environment to ensure your projects run smoothly.

We pride ourselves on creating a range of differentiated solutions, developed in alignment with customer feedback to help you to deliver in the ever-changing marketplace.

 Facewatch company background:

Facewatch have been providing crime prevention solutions to the retail industry for over 10 years. The business was started by Simon Gordon, owner of London’s oldest wine bar, on the Embankment in London. The Wine bar was a target for pickpockets and bag thieves, and he wanted to provide a relaxed and safe environment for his customers. Being technology minded and working with the local police he launched the first ever online crime reporting system including CCTV footage. This led to the launch of the first facial recognition solution in 2017, enabling retailers to deter habitual criminals who were shoplifting, abusing staff or causing criminal damage.

Today the Facewatch system provides a GDPR compliant solution that is easy to install, can be used and managed by small stores and is scalable for use by large retail groups due to its unique cloud-based servers and using Intel® NUC mini PCs. Data is managed securely by Facewatch. Facewatch doesn’t store information about the general public, just those for whom their retailer subscribers have uploaded confirmed evidence of criminal activity. If a facial image is not matched to a relevant watch list the algorithmic data is instantly deleted.

 

Figure 1. Facewatch matches faces against known offenders within seconds of them entering a business

Facewatch technology

 Facewatch system overview:

Facewatch uses the software-as-a-service technology model, making advanced facial recognition affordable for even small businesses. The company’s watchlist lives on the cloud. It’s a centralized, managed database of biometric data corresponding to the faces of people who are reasonably suspected of having shoplifted or committed other crimes at businesses that subscribe to the service (Figure 1).

 The hardware to run Facewatch is simple to deploy. It includes a standard HD CCTV camera and Intel® NUC, a mini-PC that is only 4×4 inches in size and consumes very little power. Its performance enables it to play and record video at 4K Ultra HD clarity, making it ideal for a facial recognition system. The cameras—placed at store entrances—send an image to an on-site NUC loaded with software that converts the image to an algorithm. The algorithm is compared to those in the Facewatch relevant watchlist for that property and if there is a match an alert—along with an accuracy reading—is sent to the retailer’s smartphone or other device, warning it that a known criminal on the watchlist has entered its business.

To add a shoplifter to the watchlist takes only six key presses and about 20 seconds, making it easy for store or security staff, and it doesn’t interfere with their normal duties. “They simply follow a dropdown menu, the time and date are automated, tick the box, the whole thing’s designed to be simple but highly secure and includes a confirmatory legal statement confirming that the information is accurate.” said Nick Fisher, CEO of Facewatch.

The solution does not retain any personal data on anyone not on the watchlist. “If no match is discovered, the image is deleted in 0.3 seconds” Fisher said, “and the entire process—from the moment a known shoplifter comes through the door, to the instant the retailer gets an alert—takes less than two seconds.”