Police scientifique

Forensic expertise and the exchange of forensic data is vital to international investigations.

At INTERPOL, we maintain databases of fingerprints and DNA profiles, allowing police across the world to make connections between crimes and crime scenes. We also provide training to police in our member countries, to ensure that frontline officers have the knowledge and skills necessary to assess, preserve and share evidence in line with best practices.

Our three main areas of forensic expertise are:

Facial recognition

Facial recognition

Facial recognition is an important and rapidly evolving biometric science which opens up many new opportunities for identifying individuals and solving crimes.

INTERPOL launched a database of facial images in November 2016, with the support of our Strategic Partner, Safran Identity & Security (formerly Morpho).

This tool enables the global law enforcement community to share and compare data in order to:

  • Identify fugitives and missing persons;
  • Identify unknown persons of interest;
  • Identify subjects in public media images;
  • Verify mugshots received against a database.

In a future project, we plan to make selected images available through mobile devices in order to assist operations and investigations in the field. This will enable the Organization to carry out facial recognition checks in real time against specific watchlists.

Promoting standards and best practice

A Facial Expert Working Group (IFEWG) meets twice a year and serves as INTERPOL’s advisory group in this biometric field.

The group has produced a best practice guide for the quality, format and transmission of images to be used in the INTERPOL facial recognition system. The guide will help improve the quality of data received, promoting accurate and effective facial recognition.

In October 2015, we hosted our first facial recognition symposium to increase awareness of activities in this area and to encourage member countries to contribute facial images to the new database.

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