'Memory Cop' Spots More Than 2K Suspects

Ability is 'impossible to explain,' British officer says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2020 2:31 PM CST
'Memory Man' Cop Has Spotted 2K Suspects
"The most important thing is being able to assist in catching criminals and keeping the public safe, especially given the year it has been," Pope says.   (West Midlands Police)

Who needs RoboCop when you have Andy Pope? The Birmingham, England, police officer is a "super recognizer" who has now spotted more than 2,000 suspects, the BBC reports. The 43-year-old officer, nicknamed "memory man" by colleagues in the West Midlands Police, spends most of his time patrolling transport hubs. Pope, who has an uncanny ability to recognize faces from CCTV footage, still photos, and police briefings, received an award in 2018 after he had identified 1,000 suspects, sometimes years after they were first sought. He says he once recognized a suspect sitting in a restaurant when his car was stopped at a traffic light.

Pope says this has been "a year like no other"—but he can still recognize suspects when they are wearing masks. "I’ve made sure I’m fully updated on the images of people wanted by the force, and it’s paid off," Pope tells the Birmingham Mail. "I’ve even been able to spot some in Birmingham city center while they’ve been wearing face coverings." He adds: "I have been asked many times how, but it’s impossible to explain. It’s just an instinct that is the person and thankfully it’s proven right." (More United Kingdom stories.)

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