Crime commissioner Donna Jones has praised a facial recognition trial in Southampton being run in clubs and bars in a bid to deter ‘predators’ preying on women.

The trial is run by Reveal Media and Go! Southampton and will see door staff at select night-time venues in Bedford Place use body-worn cameras with new facial recognition technology.

The camera is designed to scan customers’ facial features when they enter clubs, pubs, and bars, notifying bouncers of anyone who is banned from the premises.

Speaking at a public session on the trial, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Police and Crime Commissioner, Donna Jones said there was ‘absolutely a need for this’ after stating ‘predatory’ people are targeting lone females in the city.

She said: “We have a night-time economy where you have got predatory people who are specifically targeting, particularly females, lone females, in night-time spaces.

“There have been a number of incidents, particularly in this city, where there have been rapes and very serious sexual assaults have been committed.

“There is absolutely a need for this, and as I say, it is the direction of travel help from the government.”

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Daily Echo: PCC Donna JonesPCC Donna Jones

Though there is no confirmed date for the trial, it is estimated to last for around three months.

Mrs Jones added: "By having facial recognition, this is absolutely the way the government wants people to go.

“It's where they want night-time venues and retailers to go.

“The fact that you've got the opportunity to have this trial in Southampton – I think we're the first city in the south of England that's going to be doing this, it's absolutely fantastic.

“I want to look at this pilot when it starts, I want to try and lift it into other parts of the police force area to make sure that we are protecting people, as many people as we possibly can.”

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This comes after the Southampton Business Crime Partnership (SBCP) – managed by Go! Southampton – successfully trailed a ‘Red Card’ scheme, which links premises so that if a person is banned from one business, they are banned from all of them.

Speaking to the Echo, Steve Goodier, Body Worn Video Specialist Advisor at Reveal Media said: “In my previous life I was a police officer in Southampton.

“The technology is there to help the public as well as staff, especially with the latter as it’s nearly impossible to memorise everyone’s faces and know who shouldn’t be allowed inside the premises.”