Is there a legitimate role for facial recognition in policing and law enforcement?

London School of Economics, 14 June 2022
Tuesday, June 14, 2022 -
17:00 - 21:15

Public Event

Is there a legitimate role for facial recognition in policing and law enforcement?

Hear the evidence of experts and make your own judgement - what’s your verdict?

Register for the event via Eventbrite.

NEW: Link to recording of the event is available here.


Face recognition technology is a contemporary development that combines surveillance cameras with biometric face recognition capability.  Although the technology is still in its infancy, there are already calls for wider deployment, especially in relation to identifying known serious offenders.  Inevitably there have been disputes about the effectiveness of the technology, its social acceptability and implications for civil liberties.  These discourses point to a need for a public debate on the future of the technology and this event is designed to give members of the public an opportunity to question experts and have their say.

To get a better understanding of how facial recognition technology in policing and law enforcement is seen, the Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner has organised an event for expert witnesses to provide evidence on whether there is a legitimate role for facial recognition in policing and law enforcement.  Taking place before a live audience, attendees will be able to ask questions to test the strength of the different arguments being put forward.

The event will be organised around a series of short expert statements, which will be debated with the audience and the other expert panellists.  There will be lots of opportunities for audience participation, either through the Question and Answer session, social media, or the online polling that will take place during the event.

Experts who will be participating in the event include:

- Silkie Carlo, Director, Big Brother Watch (BBW)
- Jeremy Vaughan, Chief Constable, South Wales Police
- Isabelle Moeller, Chief Executive, Biometrics Institute
- Roger Baldwin, Advisory Council Member, Biometrics Institute
- Gary Pugh, Forensic Science Regulator
- Anne Russell, Group Manager, Information Commissioners Office (ICO)
- Dr Joe Purshouse, Senior Lecturer, University of Sheffield
- Professor William Webster, Director of CRISP, University of Stirling
- Professor Fraser Sampson, Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner

Expert witness statements start at 6pm with the event finished by 9pm.

Admission to the event is free.  All audience members must register via the Eventbrite page to attend.  Each audience member can reserve up to three tickets.  Final joining details, including location, will be emailed to audience members a couple of days prior to the event.

The event will be recorded and will be available online.  Audience members will be asked to consent to this recording as part of the ticketing process.

Further information about the event is available on the Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner and CRISP websites:
Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner

For further information please contact


Roger Baldwin, Advisory Council Member, Biometrics Institute
Roger is an independent consultant who specializes in providing advice and assistance to developing countries around the world to help them advance their forensic science capabilities and associated biometric technologies. He was previously Head of Counter Terrorism Forensic Services with the Metropolitan Police, New Scotland Yard, having served in the Forensic Services Directorate for 40 years. During this time he worked on and managed a wide range of biometric applications at local, national and international levels. Roger is also a member of the Biometrics Institute Advisory Board and has formerly held the posts of Deputy Chairman and Director. He served as the ‘penholder’ for the Biometrics Institute/UN Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate/UN Office of Counter-Terrorism project that published the ‘United Nations Compendium of Recommended Practices for the Responsible Use and Sharing of Biometrics in Counter Terrorism.’ He was also the Project Manager for the compilation of the Institute’s ‘Good Practice Framework’ guidance document that is intended for use by those tasked with implementing and deploying biometric applications. Recently, he has designed and helped deliver workshops, based on the Institute’s Good Practice Framework, to both public and private bodies.

Silkie Carlo, Director, Big Brother Watch (BBW)
Silkie is the Director of Big Brother Watch, a non-profit, non-partisan organisation campaigning to protect privacy and defend civil liberties in the UK. She is a lifelong campaigner for the protection of civil liberties, particularly in the context of new and emerging technologies. She works to uphold rights in the fields of state surveillance, policing technologies, big data, artificial intelligence, and free expression online Before joining Big Brother Watch, she was the Senior Advocacy Officer at Liberty, where she led their first programme on Technology and Human Rights and launched a legal challenge to the Investigatory Powers Act. She previously worked for Edward Snowden’s official defence fund. Silkie is also an information security trainer and is the co-author of Information Security for Journalists.

Isabelle Moeller, Chief Executive, Biometrics Institute
Isabelle has been working with the Biometrics Institute since May 2002 and, after almost 10 years in Australia, she is now based in London. She has played a key role in the establishment of the Biometrics Institute, the independent and international impartial membership organisation which is promoting the responsible and ethical use of biometrics worldwide. She has created a global network of diverse stakeholders bringing together technical, research, privacy and public policy people all joining forces to make the world a better place through the responsible use of biometrics. Isabelle has successfully managed many government-funded projects in this field, including the Biometrics Vulnerability Assessment Project, the Biometrics Institute Privacy Guidelines, the Three Laws for Biometrics, Ethical Principles for Biometrics, the Good Practice Framework and the UN Counter Terrorism Compendium on Good and Recommended Practices for the Use of Biometrics in Counter-Terrorism, where the Institute was the penholder. She received the SIA Women in Biometrics Award in 2017 for her contribution to the biometrics community in promoting the responsible and ethical use of biometrics. The award is dedicated to recognising innovative women creating a more secure world by guiding the biometrics technology market. She has spoken at many of the Biometrics Institute events but also at important meetings of the United Nations, Interpol, OSCE, ICAO and Frontex to name a few. Isabelle holds a Master of Arts in English Literature, Business and the Arts from the Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe University in Frankfurt Main, Germany.

Gary Pugh, Forensic Science Regulator
Gary Pugh’s background is operational forensic science. He was on the team that set up the Forensic Science Service as an Executive Agency becoming a Director in 1999. In 2004 he became the Director of Forensic Services at the Metropolitan Police where he led and implemented major programmes of organisational change and scientific innovation. He served two terms as Chair of the National DNA Database Strategy Board. He was a visiting Professor in Forensic Science at Northumbria University, awarded Fellow of Kings College London and the OBE in the 2011. In May 2021 he was appointed the Forensic Science Regulator.

Dr Joe Purshouse, Senior Lecturer, University of Sheffield
Joe Purshouse is a senior lecturer in criminal law at the University of Sheffield. Joe's expertise is the disruptive impact of new technologies on the law of criminal evidence and procedure, and the fundamental rights of those subject to criminal process. His research addresses the use and regulation of facial recognition technology by police in England, Wales, Scotland and New Zealand.

Anne Russell, Group Manager, Information Commissioners Office (ICO)

Anne Russell is a Group Manager at the Information Commissioner’s Office.  She’s a policy specialist, and has engaged extensively with organisations on data protection and privacy compliance associated with surveillance technologies

Professor Fraser Sampson, Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner
Professor Sampson has over 40 years’ experience working in the criminal justice sector, having served as a police officer for 19 years before becoming a solicitor specialising in policing law, conduct and governance. He is an Honorary Professor and member of the Advisory Board at the Centre for Excellence in Terrorism, Resilience, Intelligence and Organised Crime research at Sheffield Hallam University where he gained a PHD in digital accountability in law enforcement. He has also worked as the national chair of the Association of Police and Crime Chief Executives and was appointed CEO and solicitor to the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire in 2012, later being seconded as CEO to the Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner in North Yorkshire.

Jeremy Vaughan, Chief Constable, South Wales Police
Jeremy began his policing career in 1996 with North Wales Police. He served the communities of North Wales across a number of roles for twenty years, working up to the rank of Chief Superintendent, where he took responsibility for Local Policing Services. In 2016 Jeremy transferred to South Wales Police as Assistant Chief Constable with responsibility for Specialist Operations, including Professional Standards, Criminal Justice, Operational Planning and the Public Service Centre. In December 2017, he took responsibility for the Territorial Policing portfolio including leading on Neighbourhood and Response Policing. He remained as head of this portfolio until he was promoted to Deputy Chief Constable in 2019. In addition to his force responsibilities, Jeremy is the UK Police lead for Facial Matching (Identification), supporting the national development and use of facial recognition technology by the police forces of England and Wales. Jeremy is the Welsh lead for gender equality and was recognised for his work in this area by the International Association of Women in Policing in 2019 with the HeForShe award. He has a strong track record in leading on equalities and in 2019 was recognised with a Leading Wales Award – Leadership in Diversity and Inclusion.

Professor William Webster, Director of CRISP, University of Stirling
William Webster is Professor of Public Policy and Management at the Stirling Management School, University of Stirling. He is a Director of CRISP (the Centre for Research into Information Surveillance and Privacy), a research centre dedicated to understanding the social impacts and consequences of technologically mediated surveillance practices. Professor Webster has research expertise in the policy processes, regulation and governance of CCTV, surveillance in everyday life, privacy and surveillance ethics, as well as public policy relating to data protection, eGovernment, and electronic public services. He is currently Editor-in-Chief of the journal Information Polity, co-chair of the Scottish Privacy Forum and co-chair of the EGPA (European Group of Public Administration) Permanent Study Group on eGovernment, and between 2009 and 2014 he led the Living in Surveillance Societies (LiSS) COST Action. He is also involved in a number of international research projects, including the ESRC SmartGov (Smart Governance of Sustainable Cities) project and the European Commission funded Increasing Resilience in Surveillance Societies (IRISS) and ‘ASSERT’ projects.