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18th Sep, 2021

Redditch 'memory man' Andy in final of Brave Britons Awards

Correspondent 29th Sep, 2020

A REDDITCH police officer, who spotted a record 406 wanted suspects in one year, has been named as a finalist in the Amplifon Awards For Brave Britons 2020.

Community support officer Andy Pope, aged 42, hailed the ‘memory man’ by his colleagues, has reached the final four of the Against All Odds category in global hearing specialist Amplifon’s search for ‘The Best Of British’.

Andy, who serves with West Midlands Police, has recognised more than 2,000 suspects since 2012, including 17 in just one day.

The PCSO said: “I enjoy looking at faces and stills from the everyday briefing and nine out of ten times it sticks. I always make sure I take the time to look before going out on duty.”

Andy is responsible for patrolling West Midlands transport hubs as part of the Safer Travel Partnership Team and spends the majority of his time on trains and buses.

His talent has helped catch criminals ranging from indecent exposure and sexual assault, to burglary and attempted murder and have helped to bring criminals to justice up to two years after the initial incident.

Andy, who is married to Martine and has an 11-year-old son Freddy, was one of the first 20 people in the world to become a member of the Association of Super Recognisers.

He once recognised a man in a restaurant whilst waiting at traffic lights and spotted another criminal just from the mole on his face.

Back in 2012, Andy’s record of 180 identifications that year resulted in him being put forward for police staff member of the year. Since then he has broken record after record.

He said: “Being part of the association means that I can work professionally as a super recogniser and I am an expert in the field.”

“Despite my memory skills, I can only remember names when I’m in work, and I am useless at remembering anniversaries and birthdays. I leave that side of things to my wife!

“We think my son might have the same skill as he’s showing early signs. He’s very good at watching TV and identifying people from programmes that were on months ago”.

Andy has been invited to the virtual awards presentation on Tuesday, October 13, where Radio 5 Live breakfast presenter Rachel Burden will host the event, and Falklands War hero Simon Weston will be guest of honour.

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