Crime in the eye of the beholder

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Black Africans were still reluctant to donate parts like their corneas.

London - Paedophiles could be caught using reflections from the eyes of their victims captured in digital photographs.

Researchers say police could examine child abuse images, where the perpetrators or witnesses are out of shot, and identify them using the technique.

The eye’s pupil acts like a mirror in which faces can be reflected. Psychologists at the University of York and the University of Glasgow extracted the images using high-resolution photographs.

They then zoomed in on them so that the faces could be identified. “The pupil of the eye is like a black mirror,” said lead researcher Dr Rob Jenkins. “Eyes in the photographs could reveal where you were and who you were with.”

The researchers said the technique could eventually play a crucial part in investigating cases where victims are photographed, including hostage-taking and child abuse. But for it to work, the photo has to be shot in high-resolution. The subject must be looking directly at the camera.

The team photographed eight individuals, who were looking at four people behind the camera.

The reflected faces were magnified, and subjects asked to match them to mug shots or to identify the faces they knew. They were able to spot reflections of familiar faces 84 percent of the time, and match the person to a mug shot with 71 percent accuracy. - Daily Mail

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