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Super Recognisers training making an impact in the UK
November 2018, This Week's Editor's Pick, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, News, Security Services & Risk Management

Dr Craig Donald joined the leaders and staff of Super Recognisers International for the second training course during September 2018 in London. Together with CEO Mike Neville and COO Kenneth Fasr, Donald was providing training input for a specialist group that is increasingly having a major effect in the UK.

Josh Davis, an academic from the University of Greenwich whose research has put super recognisers on the map, joined in the training for the group. One of the most recent highlights with the super recognisers has been the identification of two Russian agents involved in the nerve agent Novichok case, with the two being identified in Salisbury. The members of the first group trained at SRI are already being employed in a variety of settings including murder cases, major public events, major cases recorded in the media, and special protection roles.

Once again, with this second course, the super recognisers came from a range of occupations and types of work with only a few with a police background. Notably a policewoman from the Norwegian Police in Oslo was also part of the group showing the international appeal of the concept.

Donald specifically had input around behavioural analysis and incident detection to complement the natural face recognition skills of the super recogniser delegates. The training and implementation of the facial recognition in combination with the crime behavioural awareness is seen to have some unique benefits. Awareness of crime dynamics allows super recognisers to ‘home in’ to certain areas in a football ground or city centre and associated groups of people, for example, resulting in quicker recognition and detection of known suspects.

Similarly, recognition of a suspect together with crime behaviour awareness can lead to the early prevention of crime or quick detection and apprehension of suspects. Either way, after the training super recognisers go out with some of the best crime behavioural awareness in the world despite the variety of occupations they come from. Donald commented that, like in the initial training, the observation skills and application of detection skills to incident material by the end of the course was again exceptional. “It has been one of the best groups to work with in all the training I do”, he commented.

With the Association of Super Recognisers starting to build momentum as well and a third course for SRI is already scheduled, the role of professional super recognisers in the UK is growing in strength and importance. Major achievements covered in the media is clearly supporting this. International training for super recognisers should also be on the cards for early in 2019.

For more information contact Leaderware, +27 11 787 7811,

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