United Kingdom

London Police Using "Super Recognizers" To Catch Criminals

Really good with faces

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Paul Hyland almost never forgets a face. He's a "super recognizer," and that's giving an unusual kind of help to his employer: Scotland Yard.

Several years ago, for example, London police were on the lookout for a burglar wanted for nine robberies. About a month after seeing the burglar's picture, Hyland and two colleagues were stuck in traffic.

"I looked up and noticed this guy coming out of a university and knew it was him," Hyland recalled, adding that neither of his colleagues recognized the burglar. Hyland arrested the suspect, who confessed after questioning.

"If I've met someone before and see them again, I'll usually know where I know them from, even if I can't remember their name," he said.