Tokyo Police to Use 3D Images

March 16, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. mugshot / mʌgʃɒt / (n.) – a photograph taken by the police at the police station
ExampleThe actor’s mugshot was leaked to newspapers after his arrest. 

2. transition / trænˈzɪʃ ən / (v.) – to change
Example: Our local police station will transition from paper to digital records. 

3. rendering / ˈrɛn dər ɪŋ / (n.) – the process of making an image appear solid and three-dimensional through color and shading
ExampleThe architect created a digital rendering of the house plans. 

4. apparatus / ˌæp əˈræt əs / (n.) – a machinery used for a specific purpose
Example: The doctor used an electronic apparatus to monitor my heart rate.

5. retrieve / rɪˈtriv / (v.) – to get something back
ExampleThe police retrieved the victim's stolen bag.


Read the text below.
Police in Tokyo will now be able to better identify criminals using 3D mugshots.

Starting April this year, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department will transition from two-dimensional (2D) cameras to three-dimensional (3D) cameras for taking photographs of arrested suspects. The new system will be implemented across all 102 Tokyo police stations.

The new technology will capture a rendering of a suspect's face. Images are taken from three angles while a suspect sits inside an apparatus that is about 100 centimeters wide, 50 centimeters deep, and 130 centimeters tall. The 3D effect will result from the striped lights that the apparatus projects onto the person's face. This allows it to detect a person’s features.

The mugshots taken from the suspects will be saved in a database that will allow police to retrieve them easily when identifying suspects. The new format will also allow investigators to adjust and manipulate the images for more accurate comparison with images from CCTV cameras. Currently, police find it difficult to compare 2D mugshots taken from the front and side views with CCTV footage, which are often shot from above.

The Tokyo police force is the first of its kind to use this system in all its offices. Previously, they used the technology only for research and other academic purposes. With the introduction of the system in the police force, the arrest rate in Tokyo is expected to increase, a senior officer said.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think the crime rate will decrease in Tokyo when the police force starts using these 3D cameras? Why or why not?
·         Aside from 3D mugshots, what else do you think can be done to improve police investigation processes?

Discussion B

·         How important is it to upgrade the systems of police forces around the world? Give examples.
·         Do you think safe countries should not be pressured to improve their security policies? Why or why not?

March 16, 2016