Met officer, 37, uses his photographic memory to frame more than 100 criminals this year

Meet Britain’s ‘super sleuth’ – a police officer who has captured more than 100 burglars, drug dealers, gunmen and gangsters so far this year using his photographic memory to recall the faces of dangerous criminals roaming the streets of London.

PC Arron Lewars, 37, has ensnared almost 200 offenders over the past two years with his amazing ability to remember their appearance – often just by a glimpse of their eyes or jaw.

In one case, the ‘super-recon’ spotted a 30-year-old offender wearing sunglasses and a baseball cap at the Notting Hill Carnival among 2 million faces monitored from a control room in Lambeth.

Speaking at the Metropolitan Police Excellence Awards last night, he told the evening standard: ‘All I could see was his jaw on screen. I had spent 18 months looking for it. He’s dancing and having a great time, but you can’t even see his whole face.

‘My colleagues questioned me, ‘Are you sure?’ before arresting him. I said, ‘100 percent sure’.

More recently, PC Lewars’ photographic memory helped detectives trap a serial burglar on the street – by recognizing his eyes above the face mask and Covid balaclava he was wearing.

PC Arron Lewars, 37, has ensnared almost 200 offenders over the past two years with his amazing ability to remember their appearance – often just by a glimpse of their eyes or jaw.

Performers at London's Notting Hill Carnival, which returned to the streets for the first time in two years after being thwarted by the pandemic.  In one case, the 'super-scout' spotted a 30-year-old offender wearing sunglasses and a baseball cap at the Notting Hill Carnival among 2 million faces monitored from a control room in Lambeth

Performers at London’s Notting Hill Carnival, which returned to the streets for the first time in two years after being thwarted by the pandemic. In one case, the ‘super-scout’ spotted a 30-year-old offender wearing sunglasses and a baseball cap at the Notting Hill Carnival among 2 million faces monitored from a control room in Lambeth

What is photographic memory?

What is photographic memory?

Photographic memory is the ability to recall a past scene in detail with great precision.

Is it a condition?

Highly superior autobiographical memory (HSAM) is a condition that has been identified in fewer than 100 people worldwide, and those with it can recall past events in great detail.

What are the causes?

Doctors haven’t yet figured out what exactly is going on in the brains of people with HSAM, and tests reveal there’s no particular ability that seems to underlie the condition.

Source: new scientist

The officer, who spent 13 years working for an anti-violence unit covering Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham, studies mugshots, CCTV of the raids and body worn video, watching how the suspects walk, s dress up and for any scars and tattoos before going on patrol.

He added: “Our team has a very good success rate in identifying people. Last year, I identified 80. Since January, I’m at 112 – so I’m better.

Photographic memory is the ability to recall a past scene in detail with great precision.

Highly superior autobiographical memory (HSAM) is a condition that has been identified in fewer than 100 people worldwide, and those with it can recall past events in great detail.

Doctors haven’t yet figured out what exactly is going on in the brains of people with HSAM, and tests reveal there’s no particular ability that seems to underlie the condition.

Previously MailOnline reported how a policeman double-crossed the ‘Memory Cop’ helped catch nearly 1,000 suspects with his incredible ‘photographic’ memory.

PCSO Andy Pope has brought hundreds of criminals to justice using his facial recognition skills.

His “gift” even allowed him to catch a thief who had seen his face a year earlier, and another after recognizing the mole on his face.

PC Lewars made their revelation at last night’s Metropolitan Police Achievement Awards, where Sergeant Michael McGuirk and PC Nikki Smith, both 30, were honored for saving a man from Barnet of a burning building in 2020.

PC Darren Shan won Policeman of the Year for helping young people at Dwaynamics, a Brixton boxing gym set up by pastor Lorraine Jones whose son Dwayne was stabbed to death in 2014, while PC Sobia Seher won a special recognition award for raising faith awareness. the diversity.

And Detective Chief Superintendent Tara McGovern’s team behind Signa, an internal anti-misogyny project set up after the murder of Sarah Everard, won The Building a Better Met award.

Speaking after receiving the award, PC Smith said: “The fire was one of those times when you go into fight mode or flight mode and luckily we went into fight mode.” There is no other job like the police.

Police Sergeant Michael McGuirk and PC Nikki Smith accepting their award from new Scotland Yard Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley

Police Sergeant Michael McGuirk and PC Nikki Smith accepting their award from new Scotland Yard Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley

Sergeant McGuirk said: “I am really proud and surprised to win this award considering the other nominations. I didn’t join the police to win a bravery award, but I did it to save lives. That’s the job.

New Scotland Yard Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley presented his Commissioner’s Award to two officers who were stabbed in an incident in Leicester Square last month, whose names are currently undisclosed.

Speaking at the Excellence Awards, Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said: “These awards celebrate the best of the Met and are a way of recognizing the incredible contributions that individuals and teams have made to protecting and serving the people. from London.”

“In contrast to this success, there are very real challenges. This week is tough for the Met. There’s no denying it and there will be tough challenges ahead as we fix the things we need.

“But I remain optimistic for a reason. I know we will succeed in bringing about the necessary changes, thanks to you and those like you, the fantastic, dedicated, honest and often heroic officers and staff who make up the vast majority of our people. The best of the ones we heard about today.

“Each finalist embodies the best of us and the values ​​we hold dear – they inspire the rest of us. I’m proud of you – you should be proud too.’

Michael E. Marquez