The Centre for Retail research has produced an overview of crime statistics in the UK which show a continued increase in the level and type of crime facing the retail sector.

It’s time for businesses to take a stand, and proactively tackle the issue of theft head on.

Facewatch is one of the UK’s leading facial recognition companies. The Facewatch cloud-based facial recognition security system safeguards businesses against crime, creates safer working environments, and reduces lost revenue.

It is the only shared national facial recognition watchlist. Simple, secure and affordable, Facewatch is the premier choice of retail security companies in the UK.

How does Facewatch work?

Facewatch is proven to stop crime before it happens. The Facewatch facial recognition technology sends you instant alerts when subjects of interest enter your business premises.


Real-Time Alerts

Using facial recognition technology, Facewatch matches faces against known offenders within seconds of them entering your premises and sends an instant alert for verification and action.


Full access to the Facewatch database of persons of interest, in addition to your own watchlist images. The all-inclusive watchlist is then shared by geography with every Facewatch subscriber.

Report & Upload

Digital incident reporting and intelligence sharing platform makes it as easy for you as possible to capture, report and upload information and digital images.

Data Security

Facewatch uses bank grade security and take on full data controller responsibility for the sharing of faces and associated warning flags.

How does Facewatch comply with GDPR General Data Protection Regulation?

Facewatch as data controller shares and processes Personal Data, Special Category Personal Data and Criminal Offence Data with its business Subscribers and police. The Data Protection Act 2018 provides that such processing and sharing is justified if certain conditions are met (the relevant conditions are shown in bold below).

Facewatch satisfies those conditions because:

(1) it is necessary to provide alerts to business subscribers to prevent or detect unlawful acts;
(2) such processing cannot be carried out with consent as it relates to crime prevention; and
(3) because Facewatch is processing data on a national level and is demonstrated to reduce/prevent crime in subscriber properties with the further potential to prevent and detect crime at all levels including terrorism, it is in the Substantial Public Interest.

GDPR & DPA Rules – Watchlists and FR

Watchlist – Subjects of Interest

Legally sufficient for Facewatch to store an SOI image if they are reasonably suspected of being involved in crime or unlawful acts.

Data sources from Police, Businesses and BID’s – witnessed or CCTV evidenced.

Facial recognition algorithms, defined as Special Category Data

GDPR Article 6 – lawful basis ‘preventing and detecting unlawful acts’.

GDPR Article 9 – conditional basis ‘Substantial Public Interest’.

Substantial Public Interest

Thematic multi-site approach to sharing data.

Proportionately shared, non-tracking, for crime prevention purposes.

Facewatch as Data Controllers required to meet SPI Rule, not the client.

Designed to work with Police, CT, Private Sector Businesses to prevent crime.

Clear FR signage displayed on site & informs individuals of Right to Information
Subject Access Request available on Facewatch website.

Data Security

ICO registered Data Controller
Biometric Data impossible to revert back to a face
All data is encrypted in transport and at rest
Quarterly penetration testing (Trustwave)
All data stored in Tier 3 AWS – UK Data Centres (Bank Grade)
Biometric data of non SOI’s are removed immediately
Biometric data of a SOI is removed after 1 hour if not confirmed


Large Retail

Independent Stores

Arenas & Events

Estate Management

Hotels & Restaurants

Clubs & Bars


HMP Prisons