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.
Normally, police interview these observers to create a facial composite, and names put forward, often by members of the public, then provide investigative leads. Because policing needs to be evidence-based and efficient, we have been investigating how to make best use of limited police resources while taking into account needs of eyewitnesses. Considerable constraints on police resources mean that composites are usually only constructed for serious crime—such as sexual assault, abduction and burglary.
As part of a six year programme of research, we are exploring techniques that would allow witnesses of less serious (volume) crime, or in situations where face-to-face interviewing is impractical, to construct a facial composite themselves. Construction of composites in these cases would still require supervision, but not extensive practitioner training, thus providing opportunities to solve crime that are usually not practical. The project has already indicated that self-administered procedures have considerable forensic value.
- Project lead: Dr Emma Threadgold
- Project staff: Claire Ford
- Collaborators and Partners: John Marsh
- Development of systems for solving volume (less serious) crime
- Production of composites in a supervised environment
- Optimisation of techniques that produce the most identifiable composite face
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
Enhancing the effectiveness of facial-composite images
The aim of this programme of research is to understand how to produce more identifiable facial composites by enhancing internal facial features (i.e., the eyes, mouth) using a holistic composite system.
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.
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.