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Crime Busting Technology Transforming the Face of Criminal Convictions.

22 February 2016

Dangerous knife-point criminal jailed for 16 offences, thanks to top detective work and a unique new British high-tech system for searching rapidly through files of images to identify suspects.

[Image: Still from FILM Courtesy of the MPS.]

On Friday February 19th, the Metropolitan Police Service of London (MPS) announced that a man convicted of 16 knifepoint offences across South London had been jailed for 7 years.  Craig Adams, 33, was sentenced at the Inner London Crown Court, after pleading guilty to 13 counts of robbery and three counts of burglary.

Adams targeted employees working late in the evening, forcing his victims to hand over cash from the till.  He used a number of different weapons including knives, a machete, a meat cleaver and a sword.

The MPS reports that Adams was identified as the suspect for one of the offences after his palm print was lifted at a crime scene on the South Bank. However, the full extent of his offending did not come to light until a unique specialised investigation team at the Met established that he was linked to a further 15 similar offences.  It looked as if all 16 crimes had been committed by the same man; as later proved in Court to be the case.

This is a typical example of the many hundreds of investigations successfully  conducted  by  the  MPS  over  the  last  four  years;  working with the robust new system of image management and identification they have established with the help of British technology system suppliers, 3rd Forensic Limited. 

Working together, the company and the MPS are proving that the systematic management of suspect images is a major factor in catching and convicting prolific offenders; ensuring that the full extent of their crimes is discovered and properly dealt with.  This unique approach involves a combination of innovative software, systematic procedures and gifted police officers - ‘Super Recognisers’, scientifically assessed as having unusually accurate recognition/recall abilities:

  • FILM  - Forensic Image Linking and Management - developed for the MPS by 3rd Forensic, stores, manages, and cross-links thousands of suspect images, enabling rapid identification;
  • ‘Super-recognisers’ add further identification capabilities to the system, using a wide range of clues - facial, distinctive clothing and other features.

Adams was arrested last November and, when faced with the evidence against him, pleaded guilty to all charges in Court the following month.  The MPS reported that CCTV images up-loaded onto the FILM system by visual identification unit staff and used to connect Adams to his many crimes was a significant factor, in revealing the multiple nature of his offences and in securing his guilty plea – saving Court time and public money  -  a typical feature of FILM-assisted cases.

"The 3rd Forensic team is immensely proud of the contribution that our FILM technology is making to the success of the fight against crime and disorder in London

says 3rd Forensic Chairman, David McIntosh.

Since the company started working with the Metropolitan Police in 2011, the direct results have included thousands of successes in suspect identification and conviction; of which the Adams case is a particularly satisfying example.  Once again, the MPS has put our FILM system to good use in making London’s streets and premises safer for law-abiding people to use".


Supplementary Notes:

FILM, ‘Super-Recognisers’ and their use by the MPS to make a unique impact on Law Enforcement and Crime Prevention in London:


With these cutting-edge initiatives the Metropolitan Police Service of London is making London CCTV installations more effective than any others anywhere in the world, both in Law Enforcement and Crime Prevention – the results:

  • more suspects being found, more crimes solved - increase in crime deterrence; 
  • better criminal intelligence - greatly improved performance statistics. 

These are the results hoped for by all major city CCTV installations everywhere in the world – but only in London is that dream becoming a reality.

FILM (Forensic Image Linking Management)

Developed and delivered by 3rd Forensic Ltd at the request of the MPS and in close co-operation with the Service’s Central Imaging Unit at Scotland Yard, FILM is an end-to-end solution enabling police teams to get the most out of images - CCTV, body-worn video, mobile phones, etc.  With an advanced database core and supporting processes tailored specifically to police requirements, FILM has been in daily use in London since 2011, delivering a significant increase in convictions and improved crime prevention.  London is the first city in the world to benefit from this innovation.

Super Recognisers

The Met reports that there are now over 140 Super Recognisers. They are police officers and staff working in front-line roles all over London including neighbourhood teams, Robbery Squads, Intelligence Units and custody suites; and making use of the FILM image management system to obtain the right images quickly and efficiently, so that they can do their uniquely effective recognition work.  They have a much greater than average ability to recognise suspects caught on CCTV and other media – often with even the poorest of images.  They are identified as Super Recognisers by scientific assessment techniques developed by Dr Josh Davis and his team at the University of Greenwich.  Dr Davis and his colleagues provide specialist advice, training and support, to help the MPS find and make the most of their in-house Super Recognisers.

Unique World-Leading Combination

Working with 3rd Forensic Ltd and with the Greenwich University team, the Metropolitan Police Service of London are global leaders in forensic image management, including the systematic deployment of Super Recognisers – delivering uniquely effective results in the fight against crime and disorder.

For further information or to arrange visits and interviews, please in the first instance contact:

Jim McBrierty on +44 (0) 7724 448 310 


Karen Salfarlie on +44 (0) 1189 080345

Contact as 

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