Southampton bouncers will wear body-worn cameras with facial recognition technology to cut down city centre crime in a UK first.

The three-month trial will see the cameras, fitted with Reveal facial recognition technology, worn by door staff across seven venues to help identify those who have been barred. 

GO! Southampton - the city's Business Improvement District - is the first of its kind in the country to run such a trial.

Jade McCauley, operations manager at GO! Southampton, said: “In Southampton we have won awards for our approach to safety in the night-time economy but we think we can always go further, and we’re committed to reducing crime and keeping the city centre a great place to be.

"The new tech is expected to help door staff identify offenders more quickly and easily by alerting them if someone is trying to gain entry when they have previously been banned."

It comes as an extension of the Southampton Business Crime Partnership's (SBCP) already-successful 'Red Card' scheme which links premises so that if a person is banned from one business, they are banned from all of them. 

Daily Echo: Customers at a Southampton bar.Customers at a Southampton bar. (Image: Go! Southampton)

Jade said the trial was fully funded by Reveal and is an "exciting opportunity to test emerging technology in a proportionate fashion to further ensure a safe night out for everyone".

She explained how the system would work: “When the camera recognises one of these offenders, the security staff will be signalled and then they can liaise with venue staff to turn the offender away and notify CCTV and local Police to deter them from reoffending.

“If a person is not recognised on the cameras, data will be instantly and permanently deleted from the system within microseconds as the camera will only be matching against the images of those currently banned, which represent 65 known offenders.”

The trial, run in partnership with security firm Synergy Security, will use Reveal’s digital evidence management system, DEMS 360, used by around 70 per cent of UK police forces.

The system has information and images of offenders who have been excluded from the city centre via the Red Card scheme.

It is expected to stop them from gaining entry through the use of fake IDs, attempts to change appearance or simple human error.

READ MORE: Extra security guards brought in to patrol Southampton after dark 

Police and Crime Commissioner, Donna Jones, said she is "delighted" with the latest trial to "keep people safe at night in the town centre".

She said: “Whilst the use of this kind of technology has long been debated, it has played a crucial role in helping the police nationally to tackle very serious offences in a variety of settings.

“I am very much looking forward to seeing the results of the trial and exploring the possibility of expanding its use to tackle wider community safety concerns with the police.”

Before the trial starts, the SBCP is offering students and residents the chance for a closer look and a demonstration on how it will all work on November 3.

There will be a Q&A session, a demonstration from Reveal of the technology and Synergy Security’s Jema Paull will also be there to give insight on what working on the door is like. 

As space is limited, please get in touch with the BID if you are interested in attending the Q&A, please email

Southampton was awarded the purple flag earlier this year for being a safe city.