School of Human Sciences
Face and Voice Recognition Lab
Institute of Lifecourse Development
University of Greenwich
17th December 2021
Association of Super-Recognisers Awards Day published in Professional Security Magazine
At an award ceremony on 29 November 2021 organised by the Association of Super-Recognisers (https://www.associationofsuperrecognisers.org/news) at Mark Masons Hall, St James Street, London, super-recognisers were awarded certificates for completing the training programme arranged by Super-Recognisers International (https://superrecognisersinternational.com/courses/).
When Covid allowed for it, training included learning about legal procedures in England and Wales for the use of images and live deployments at venues such as large shopping centres in which super-recognisers were provided with photos of targets in advance to memorise, and were then required to spot the target amongst the shoppers. One target provided a single photograph taken more than 30 years previously. A few super-recognisers still managed to “see” through the inevitable changes in their appearance.
Licentiates were mainly police (e.g., Thames Valley Police), identity verification (e.g., Yoti), and security staff from the UK. However, super-recognisers also flew in from the USA, Germany, and France to collect their certificates handed out by Lord Lingfield, the Patron of the Association of Super-Recognisers (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Balchin,_Baron_Lingfield).
All award winners first completed a series of at least 10 tests arranged by the University of Greenwich for the Association. https://www.superrecognisers.com/post/searching-for-thames-valley-police-super-recognisers
These measure, short-term face memory, long-term face memory, simultaneous face matching, and spotting faces in a crowd. The final phase is always conducted in exam conditions, with participants present in a room with University of Greenwich research assistants acting as invigilators (see https://www.superrecognisers.com/post/international-association-of-super-recognisers-at-honourable-artillery-company-hq) or remotely monitoring proceedings online.
More information is provided about some of the award winners on the Association website (news section): https://www.associationofsuperrecognisers.org/news
West Midlands Police Force issued a press release about the ceremony as so called "Memory Man" PCSO Andy Pope was made an Honorary Fellow of the Association,(https://west-midlands.police.uk/news/memory-man-officer-recognised-talent). Andy has been able to recognise more than 2000 people in the last few years. Some of them even when they were wearing masks, others even years after he had seen their photo.
Note: Via the University of Greenwich, since 2017, Professor Josh P Davis has agreed an annual consultancy contract with Super-Recognisers International to organise testing for the Association of Super-Recognisers. The funds are mostly used to pay for the time constructing, monitoring and analysing the results of the tests by his research assistants, as well as other costs such as website construction and payments to participants for images used in new tests. He receives no additional income for this work in order to ensure no conflict of interest with his research or other academic duties.