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Leicestershire Police defend face scanning at Download

Following Matt Bellamy’s onstage outburst, the Leicestershire Police have defended their futuristic method of crime reduction at this year’s Download festival.

During Muse’s headline set at the annual festival held at Donington, Bellamy stated, “Fuck the Leicestershire Police for scanning your faces without you knowing”. This came as a reaction to new tactics put in place that involved scanning the faces of the 90,000 attendees of the festival in order to compare them to a database of criminals known to target music festivals around Europe.

Bellamy’s criticism has sparked a debate in which Rachel Robinson of the human rights group, Liberty, has stated, “We really think that there’s a real need for caution here. The police [need] to think about their relationship with their communities and the broader impact that this kind of mass surveillance can have”.

However, Leicestershire Police’s Chief Constable Simon Cole has said that he believes that part of the issue is that “it’s an area where technology has advanced probably quicker than legislation” and therefore he thinks its up to Parliament to decide “what is OK or not”.

Watch the incident that sparked the conversation below.

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