Catching More Offenders with EvoFIT Facial Composites: Lab Research and Police Field Trials

Charlie D. Frowd, Peter J.B. Hancock, Vicki Bruce, Faye C. Skelton , Chris Atherton, Laura Nelson

Abstract


Often, the only evidence of an offender’s identity comes from the memory of an eyewitness. For over 12 years, we have been developing software called EvoFIT to help eyewitnesses recover their memories of offenders’ faces, to assist police investigations. EvoFIT requires eyewitnesses to repeatedly select from arrays of faces, with ‘breeding’, to ‘evolve’ a face. Recently, police forces have been formally evaluating EvoFIT in criminal cases. The current paper describes four such police audits. It is reported that EvoFIT composites directly led to an arrest in 25.4% of cases overall; the arrest rate was 38.5% for forces that used a newer, less detailed face-recall interview. These results are similar to those found in the laboratory using simulated procedures. Here, we also evaluate the impact of interviewing techniques and outline further work that has improved system performance.

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