Police in Sussex are taking laptops into schools, prisons and probation offices to try to identify criminals caught on CCTV cameras.
The computers will be loaded with a Suspect Identification and Recognition Database (Sird), which took Sussex Police about nine months to develop.
It has about 400 images of people committing crimes from shoplifting to violent assaults.
The images will be shown on a slide show to staff who might identify them.
"The system has huge potential and we're very much looking forward to taking it into our local communities," said Insp James Asser.
He said the aim was to meet people such as prison, school or probation staff once a month to go through the slides.
"We need the support of our communities to make Sird a success," said Mr Asser.
"For example, we have hundreds of images of young people committing crime and we want to go into local schools and speak to staff who are more likely to be able to identify them."
It is anticipated that 1,000 images a month will be added to the system when it is fully operational.