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Letter from Scotland Yard





















August 14th 2005

.Dear Mr Caselli

I am a police officer with the Metropolitan Police Service in London (New Scotland Yard). In early September I will be presenting a paper at the 8th International Crime Mapping Conference in Savannah, USA.  The event is sponsored by the US Department of Justice and will attract police officers, analysts and academics from around the world. This email seeks your permission to allow me to reproduce in a single presentation slide, some facial illustrations you produced for a book entitled "The Evolution of Early Man" by Prof. Wood.  The illustrations (pages 112-113) show races and racial types from around the world.   The reason for my interest is to demonstrate how police forces use very limited descriptions of suspects.  For example, in London, we refer to the whole
African and Afro-Caribbean groups with a single code.  Likewise, Mediterranean features have a single code.   Your illustrations demonstrate how naive this is and how much richer racial groupings are.

The underlying purpose of my presentation is to encourage colleagues and in particular, academics to research this area to assist develop more appropriate descriptions of the people we are seeking.   This is in no way sinister, on the contrary, it would help reduce the number of people incorrectly targeted by police as we could develop a better understanding of the differences within racial groups.   Although not part of this presentation and work schedule, I am also attempting to develop an 'age album' to assist the vulnerable (young and elderly) to more accurately describe the age of suspects.   It is my belief, for example, that elderly victims often describe a large youth as being mid-twenties (in age), whereas they are quite likely much younger.                                                             (..................... )

Kind Regards


Ian Oldfield - Metropolitan Police Service (New Scotland Yard)

London - England