Dozens of welfare fraudsters spotted in Ireland by face recognition
05 January 2017 14:50 GMT

Face recognition in the Republic of Ireland’s welfare system has helped uncover “dozens” of offenders since its implementation.

The software has resulted in at least 135 cases of suspected fraud being referred to the Department of Social Protection’s investigation unit or to the gardaí, according to a police statement.

In addition, 14 cases brought as a result of the use of the software have been finalised in court, the first in January of 2015, with custodial sentences handed down in nine of those cases.

Figures provided by the department showed that as of the end of October last year 135 cases of suspected fraud — detected via Cogent Facial Image Matching Software since its implementation — have been referred to the Department’s Special Investigations Unit and/or the gardaí.

Irish media notes that in one case that was concluded last October the judge remarked how many people coming before the courts were now being detected through facial imaging systems.

Judge Melanie Greally said: “Persons who think that they will get away with social welfare fraud need to wake up,” reported the Irish Examiner.

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