Jail for Burglar Caught by Met 'Super Recognisers'

Shelley spotted stealing from shops and schools in boroughs including H&F



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A man has been jailed for stealing computer equipment from shops and schools in boroughs across London, including Hammersmith and Fulham after the Met combined super recognisers' skills with computer analysis of the suspect's t-shirt.

Richard Shelley, 38 of Griffin Manor Way, SE28 was jailed for five years on May 5 at Southwark Crown Court for 11 counts of burglary.

The burglaries were committed between January 2013 and June 2015 and many of the items stolen by Shelley were laptops and computer equipment used in education. He targeted shops and schools at locations across London, including Westminster, Waltham Forest, Hammersmith & Fulham and Richmond-upon-Thames.

Shelley had been captured on CCTV at a number of crime scenes.

Detectives from the Met's Super Recognisers Unit used the Forensic Image Linking system, or FILM to identify suspect images that showed a suspect with a similar appearance to Shelley.

While using their visual abilities to identify Shelley from the scenes of various offences, officers realised that he regularly wore a particular shirt with a distinctive logo/brand.

Officers ran suspect images through logo recognition software and were able to locate additional offences committed by Shelley when he was wearing the distinctive t-shirt.

The facial recognition identifications made by the recognisers combined with the logo recognition searches resulted in the 11 convictions for buglary. When arrested Shelley was already serving a suspended sentence for burglary.

DCI Mick Neville, head of the Central Image Forensic Team said: "Once again Scotland Yard is at the forefront of developing crime fighting tools. Many criminals wear logos and patterns on their clothes and this software will allow us to target even more prolific criminals.

"The FILM system enables our super recognisers to industrialise the number of convictions from CCTV - with the addition of logo recognition software we can improve it further still. By using images in this systematic way, we can now solve thousands more crimes and make London safer."

Detective Sergeant Eliot Porritt of the Super Recognisers Unit said: "The Super Recogniser Unit continues to identify and link crimes committed by habitual offenders. Even when a criminal is serving a sentence, they can be linked to additional crimes and further arrested. If a crime has been committed and it is caught on camera, we will do our utmost to identify the suspect.

"Shelley has demonstrated that he is a habitual burglar. The distress and inconvenience caused to the owners, service users and employees at the venues he targeted is immeasurable.

"We are delighted that the communities of London will not be subjected to his criminal activities for some time."

May 31, 2016