A MAN has been convicted of shoplifting offences in Hockley after being identified through facial recognition.

Anthony Reid, 54, of Dalston Lane, London, was responsible for stealing a total of £160 worth of goods from a shop in Spa Road, Hockley, on two separate occasions. 

He was later identified using retrospective facial recognition.

A clear image of his face was caught on CCTV belonging to a shop in Spa Road which was then reported to police. 

Reid was identified when a match was made with his details, which were legitimately held on the Police National Database. 

Additional verification checks were then carried out before Reid was subsequently arrested in Hackney on Monday. He was then charged. 

Reid admitted two counts of theft from a shop when he appeared at Southend Magistrates’ Court today. 

Magistrates handed him a community order, which means his whereabouts will be tracked, for 13 weeks. 

He was also ordered to pay compensation to the business owner. 

Chief Insp Paul Hogben, district commander for Castle Point and Rochford, said: “We know that when shoplifting occurs, it affects our businesses greatly and across the Castle Point and Rochford district, we are determined to tackle it. 

 “We are an innovative police force and where technology is available to us, we will not hesitate to use it to identify offenders and ultimately ensure they are punished for their criminal behaviour.

“I want to be really clear – when shoplifting offences happen, I want businesses in Castle Point and Rochford to feel confident in reporting them to us.

“We will take action and there will be no doubt that repeat offenders – those who feel they can continue to steal from our businesses - will be targeted.” 

Essex Police also recently trialled live facial recognition technology for the first time in October. 

It was used during activity in Southend and Chelmsford as part of targeted police action.