Eagle-eyed police super recogniser spotted a record 406 wanted suspects in 2019 including 16 in one day to help solve attempted murder, sex assault and theft cases
- Community support officer Andy Pope, 42, spotted record number of suspects
- The officer patrols West Midlands transport hubs part of Safer Travel Partnership
- Talent has led to arrests such as attempted murder and thefts to sexual assaults
An eagle-eyed police officer spotted a record 406 wanted suspects in one day including 16 in just one day.
Community support officer Andy Pope, from Birmingham, has been hailed the ‘memory man’ by his colleagues after recognising 2,000 suspects since 2012.
The 42-year-old has identified a man waiting at traffic lights while eating in a restaurant and even spotted someone by a mole on their face.
However the razor-sharp police officer said he is ‘useless’ at remembering birthdays and anniversaries.
Community support officer Andy Pope, 42, from Birmingham, has been hailed the ‘memory man’ by his colleagues after recognising 2,000 suspects since 2012
And the officer’s talent for remembering faces has led to arrests ranging from attempted murder and thefts to sexual assaults.
His successes also include recognising a man, wanted for two years, after causing a nuisance on train platforms.
Mr Pope patrols West Midlands transport hubs as part of the Safer Travel Partnership team yet his impressive skills have been used to assist other departments.
Mr Pope said: ‘I take great pride in being in a position to help the force catch criminals and protect the public.
Paul Hyland, a Met super recogniser, scans CCTV footage in this photo taken in September 2013
‘I’m fortunate faces stick in my memory and I always make sure I spend time looking at the most wanted briefings ahead of going out on duty.
‘There are officers and staff across the force who do various roles to help keep the streets safe.
He added how he was just pleased how his skills can contribute to catching crime suspects.
Mr Pope also became one of the first 20 people in the world to form the Association of Super Recognisers which represents those who possess superior memory skills.
Who are the Met’s super recognisers?
The super recognisers team was first created in the aftermath of the 2011 riots, as certain officers showed an ability to spot suspects from different pieces of footage.
They have an uncanny ability to recognise faces, remembering people they have not seen for decades, who have substantially changed in appearance, and who they have only fleetingly encountered.
Super recognisers might assist with the matching of faces captured on CCTV footage, the comparison of faces to identification documents, or the scanning of crowds for known troublemakers, wanted perpetrators or even missing persons.
They may also help with victim identification, or deciding whether a person moving between borders is using a fraudulent identity or is even a missing child.
Popular tests assess participants’ ability to recognise photographs of celebrities that were taken a long time before they became famous.