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Field testimony from Britain .. Why are women considered the best eyewitnesses?

A British officer who specializes in drawing faces electronically believes that women are better than men at remembering the faces of criminals, and he is proud that he revealed a number of thorny issues despite the mockery of the media about some of the pictures he published.

Author John Simpson quotes Officer Tony Barnes, in charge of electronic facial recognition technology in Scotland Yard, in a report published by the British newspaper “thetimes”, saying that women retain better visual memories of faces, so they are more useful than men in recognizing On criminals.

They remember faces better

Barnes, 54, who interviewed more than 2,000 witnesses over 11 years to create computer-assisted images of suspects’ faces, confirms that the pattern was the same regardless of social class, educational level and type of crime.

“In my experience, women’s testimonials are better than men when it comes to electronic facial recognition technology,” he says, “It seems that they remember faces better.”

When a man walks in the street, he feels that there is nothing to harm him, while the woman is more careful and attentive to what is happening around (Shutterstock)

“When men walk down the street, there is that feeling that nothing can harm them. It is likely that women are more careful and attentive to what is happening around them,” the British officer added.

“This is how I see things. Certainly, when providing certificates via electronic facial recognition technology, they are always much better at describing people,” he said.

Electronic face recognition

Barnes dropped out of art school and joined the Metropolitan Police after he was caught painting the faces of his classmates. According to him, victims and witnesses who have visual thinking skills, or artistic flair, are better able than others to describe faces.

Barnes has trained 4 officers to replace him when he retires next March, but he fears that this art will be lost in time and become just a minor specialty in Scotland Yard.

Barnes says, in this context, that “many of the officers who work on electronic facial recognition technology throughout the country are not artists, and their number decreases little by little. Like any skill, if you do not use it you will lose it.”

The facial recognition technology used by the Metropolitan Police and developed by the University of Kent provides a number of options and characteristics that the witness chooses from among them that matches the suspect’s face.

After that, the algorithm begins collecting and merging selections, and the officer can add some adjustments to reach the final image.

Cases revealed by Barnes Pictures

These photos were often the subject of controversy and ridicule, and Barnes believes that some biased press coverage and the sarcastic reactions on social media are unfair, indicating that over the past years he has succeeded in identifying suspects at a rate of 1 out of 4.

Victims and witnesses with visual thinking skills or artistic flair are better able to describe faces (Shutterstock)

“This is not our business. The witness says that the criminal looks like this, and then gives his consent to the photo before publishing it. We often forget that these people were intimidated,” he said, commenting on the reasons for the mismatch between the suspects and the images being drawn by the technology.

the weirdest pictures

Barnes continues, “What’s interesting is that some of the strangest things I’ve done over the past years have worked really well. There was a picture of a suspect who looked like a cat, and they actually found someone with these descriptions.”

Among the cases in which Barnes managed to reveal the perpetrator – according to the writer – a very accurate image with facial recognition technology of a person involved in a rape in 2017, and Derry McCann was imprisoned for life due to this incident that occurred in an East London garden the night before his wedding.

In 2019, Barnes drew pictures of two people who carried out a robbery at a snack bar north of London, and molested a 13-year-old girl, and thanks to the two pictures, an officer identified the perpetrators of the crime, Quan Chan and Cai Wang, and they were put on trial.




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