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Singapore’s law enforcers have teamed up with Japanese technology giant NEC to form a concept Smart Command Center, in an attempt to fight crime more efficiently and effectively. Concept trials began this year, using NEC’s Neoface facial recognition technology that is the fastest in the world in picking out criminal suspects from a crowd using artificial intelligence.

“We’re facing a lot of heightened security threats around the world,” Lawrence Tham, deputy director of strategy and concept generation under the Ministry of Home Affairs’ (MHA) ops-tech group, told “So we’re looking at an integrated approach that can give us a situation picture using video surveillance, this can help enhance our officers’ sense-making and decision-making. That is key to the Home Team”.

The Smart Command Center taps Singapore’s wide network of closed-circuit surveillance cameras and drones that the MHA is considering to use. These sources will enable to recognize faces in a crowd as well as pick out persons-of-interest in police watchlists.

The system allows police officers to zoom in on a particular individual, plotting across datasets from multiple camera images to form a timeline of his movement patterns.

On top of that, it is able to track those who are not on watchlists but are found to be behaving suspiciously by loitering within an area. According to Tham, the most critical component is how all the information can be synchronized to the responding officers’ smartphones – allowing them to know where the culprit is in real time.