Birmingham “Memory Cop” Has Identified 2000 Suspects

PCSO Andy Pope has an extraordinary knack for remembering faces - Image Source: West Midlands Police

A WEST MIDLANDS police officer, nicknamed the “memory cop”, has identified 2000 suspects by remembering the faces of wanted crime suspects.

PCSO Andy Pope, who is based in Birmingham and patrols transport hubs across the West Midlands, has an extraordinary memory that allows him to identify suspects on the streets by remembering the faces of wanted individuals.


The 43-year old Redditch native says that his incredible talent is “impossible to explain”, but it has enabled him to spot up to 17 suspects in crime per day as they walk the streets of England’s second city. He is even able to identify suspects wearing Covid-19 facemasks.

“It’s just an instinct that it is the person” that police are looking for, Pope explains “and thankfully it’s proven right.” The PCSO is one of 20 UK police officers in the Association of Super Recognisers, a body of police officials possessing similar astonishing memories. The group wants their unusual skill to be considered a branch of forensic science.

Pope, who joined West Midlands Police in 2012, was recognised by the force’s chief constable in 2018 when he identified his 1000th suspect. He hopes to hit the 2500 mark by 2022 and says that during this pandemic year “I’ve made sure I’m fully updated on the images of people wanted by the force, and it’s paid off.”

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Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...


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