An eagle-eyed police officer dubbed “Memory Cop” has used his mind-blowing face recognition skills to catch 2,100 suspects—including those wearing face masks.
England’s Andy Pope boasts a photographic memory, which means he can recall faces from CCTV images years after he has seen them.
His incredible skill has seen him collar suspects for crimes which range from robbery, indecent exposure, sex assaults, and attempted murder since 2012.
The super recognizer, who says his skill is “impossible to explain” but credits “instinct” for usually being right, had spotted 1,000 offenders by 2018.
Last year, his ability led to 406 people being caught, including 16 in just one day, and he has now sailed past the 2,000 milestone during 2020.
The 43-year-old has managed to snare over a hundred suspects this year and has even identified wanted criminals who were wearing masks during the pandemic.
Andy, who works for West Midlands Police, says he has kept relying on instinct to catch crooks despite face coverings making them harder to catch than ever before.
His skill has led to the officer being a finalist in the Against All Odds category of the Amplifon Awards For Brave Britons 2020. Winners in some of the other categories included Manchester United soccer star and ‘free kids meals’ hero Marcus Rashford, as well as NHS fundraiser Captain Sir Tom Moore.
Averaging one recognition every other shift, he also became one of the first 20 people in the world to form part of the Super Recognisers Association in recognition for his razor-sharp ability.
He said: “Although it’s been a year like no other, I’ve still carried on as usual with the same preparation coming onto a shift.
“The most important thing is being able to assist in catching criminals and keeping the public safe, especially given the year it has been.”