Interpreting Image Evidence: Facial Mapping, Police Familiars and Super-recognisers in England and Australia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

London’s Metropolitan Police has recently established a team of “super-recognisers” to identify suspects. Limited attention has been given to the use to which their evidence may properly be put during investigations, formal interviews and prosecutions. This article explores the ways investigators have approached the identification of persons of interest in crime-related images and the use of this evidence at trial. It explains that the courts have largely been inattentive to scientific research; particularly notorious difficulties and the (un)reliability of much image interpretation and comparison. Following a review of admissibility jurisprudence in England and Australia and relevant scientific research, it concludes that the strategic use of those with enhanced abilities - to recognise familiar faces and to match unfamiliar faces - would improve the reliability of identifications and offer the potential to circumvent the dangers of unreliability, bias and contamination that threatens current police and expert practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-522
JournalJournal of International and Comparative Law
Volume3
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016

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