In the fight against crime, Saxony's police want to rely more on the skills of "super-recognizers" in the future. These are people who are particularly good at memorizing and recognizing faces, even if some time has passed or the person has changed. A pilot project was started last year at the Chemnitz police headquarters - and it was obviously convincing. The inspector of the Saxon police, Petric Kleine, spoke of positive results when asked by the dpa. That is why the whole thing is now to be extended to the Dresden and Leipzig police departments.
The use of such recognition is a good tool to support the police work, said Kleine. Both in security and in law enforcement. "With their help, we can locate unknown or already known people who are wanted from a crowd, whether live or from image and video material."
In the area of the Chemnitz police headquarters, which also includes the districts of Mittelsachsen and Erzgebirge, almost 2,000 employees were able to voluntarily take part in a multi-stage test at Greenwich University for the pilot project. More than 800 participated. As a result, 23 of them were found to have special face recognition skills. Since then, two police officers have been working in the main office as recognizers, and 18 more are called in if necessary.
The Chemnitz-based company also supported colleagues elsewhere, such as the Dresden Soko "Hauptallee" to investigate the riots after a soccer game in May 2021 in the state capital. According to the Ministry of the Interior, the specialists were used on a daily basis, but also in special situations. It was primarily about evaluations and comparisons of image and video material. For example, links between known and unknown persons could have been established.
Tests by police officers in Leipzig and Dresden are to begin this year in order to detect "super-recognizers" among them, the Ministry of the Interior said. "How many employees will be used in the main/secondary office will only be determined after the tests have been completed."