School of Psychology
Darwin Building, DB116
+44 (0) 1772 89 3257
Subject Areas: Criminology and Policing, Psychology
Charlie works in the area of facial composites. In a forensic context, composites are constructed by witnesses and victims of crime, of offenders, to allow the police to solve crime. His approach is to make facial composites (from any system) as effective as possible, but he is perhaps best known for developing the EvoFIT system that is in use by Lancashire Police, and other police forces in the UK and overseas. He regularly trains police personnel and works directly with witnesses and victims of crime.
Charlie’s collaborative research has developed important methodologies for evaluating the forensic use of facial composites and composite systems. His ‘gold standard’ procedure has highlighted important deficits in traditional feature systems used by some police practitioners.
The work has triggered a substantial uptake of the EvoFIT system that he designed, and he now provides front-line police training and support. More generally, his research is on all areas of composite face construction and usage. The work has developed mnemonics for cognitive interviewing which substantially improve the effectiveness of composites from all systems (feature, sketch and holistic).
A second contribution has been a programme of research to create EvoFIT (www.EvoFIT.co.uk). This holistic system, which he wrote and developed as part of his PhD at Stirling and thereafter, is more effective at accessing human memory than any other. EvoFIT has been in regular police use since 2007. Considerable research effort has also revealed a new method for feature systems to produce high identification rates and one European system has already implemented it and retrained its police users. In addition, a series of studies has developed novel methods for law enforcement to publish composites in the media, in newspapers and on TV, substantially improving identification rates.
Membership of Professional and Learned Bodies
Facial composite construction and identification