Enhancing the effectiveness of facial-composite images
This programme of research aims to understand how to produce more identifiable facial composites by enhancing internal facial features (i.e., the eyes, mouth) using a holistic composite system.
Often, in serious crimes, witness memory is the best piece of evidence available to the police and so, optimising composite systems to produce more effective composites is of key importance to criminal investigations. More specifically, the research is considering whether recognition-based techniques can be effective towards the end of face construction to refine individual features of the face, thereby promoting a more accurate face.
The research is exploring these techniques for practical but nonetheless theoretically-interesting situations around when a face is encoded, including length of time for which a target was seen, viewing distance and witness anxiety.
The focus is on the EvoFIT holistic system initially but the plan is that techniques will be applied to other production systems, to be of most benefit to forensic practitioners.
Findings will contribute to the continued optimisation of the EvoFIT and other composite system used with police forces in the UK and overseas.
Project lead: Dr Beth Richardson
Project staff: Lauren Elizabeth Ellison
Clients or Funders: Police forces (UK and overseas) and Independent forensic practitioners
Collaborators and Partners: Professor Charlie Frowd
Timeline: 2019 -
- Development of systems for maximising identification of serious criminals
- Production of composites in a supervised environment
- Optimisation of techniques that produce the most identifiable composite face
Frowd, C. D., Grieve, J., & Hancock, P. J. B. (2019). Accelerating the evolution process to greatly improve identification of a facial composite. Conference for the European Association of Psychology and Law (EAPL), Santiago de Compostela, Spain, July 2019.
Related research projects
Investigating the effect of visual load on EvoFIT facial composites
The research programme is investigating the impact of presentation of faces to eyewitnesses during construction of EvoFIT facial composites.
In the fight against serious crime police forces worldwide are using advanced digital technology co-developed with the University’s forensic practitioners.Friday 27 August 2021
Strategies for evolving identifiable facial composite images
This programme of research investigates the best strategies to use when evolving a face from long-term memory using holistic facial-composite systems.
Self-administered procedures for constructing identifiable facial composites
Our research focuses on techniques that allow police to identity suspects through use of composite images produced by witnesses and victims of crime.
Using detailed environmental recall to enhance facial-composite images
The programme of research aims to improve the effectiveness of facial composites by recalling the environment in which a face was seen, which allows a witness to construct the face of an offender more effectively.