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Real Life

Is your memory reliable enough to catch a criminal?

Each year, hundreds of crimes go unsolved because witnesses can’t agree on what the suspect looked like. So how good would your memory be?

By Laura Masia
Imagine the scene: you see a bloke sprinting down the street past you, clutching a handbag he's just swiped from an elderly lady. You get a good look at his face, but would you be able to accurately describe it in detail to a police sketch artist?
It'd be even harder if you 
had merely met the man and not realised he was a crim at the time.
Photofit drawings are only about 
nine per cent accurate according to 
one study. And their digital counterparts are generally poorer quality too, with 
only five per cent accuracy.

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