‘I’m a Super Recogniser and scoured Coronation for crooks to keep King safe’

Forget Marvel's X-Men and Avengers, a new and very real team of ordinary people with an extraordinary talent is being recruited around the world.

Super Recognisers may not be kitted out in capes or Iron Man-like tech but the brain boxes are deployed to identify suspected criminals in a crowd from the grainiest of CCTV images.

The Daily Star spoke to one such brain box, Alex Thorburn whose day job is working on murder investigations but when she's not, Thames Valley Police turn to her unique set of skills.

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Alex quipped: "If you say Super Recogniser people respond 'ooh super recogniser?'"

Spotting wrongens comes in all shapes and sizes, Alex explains but arguably none more major than at one of the UK's most historic events in decades.

The Major Crime Unit Special Investigator was part of a Super Recogniser task force deployed at the Coronation of King Charles, with known troublemakers etched into their brains.

With Charles officially crowned at Westminster Abbey, London on May 6, Alex was readied to recognise the following day during Windsor Castle's Coronation Concert.

She said: "I've been able to go to some really cool events so over and above my day to day job.

"I've helped out with the Coronation to look out for fixators, Royal Windsor Horse Show, Ascot and things like that.

"I've been able to help just to see if I recognise anybody that may or may not cause issues. Thankfully nobody was there to disrupt it that we saw so yeah it's pretty nice to be able to do this over and above my day job.

"When it's a special event like the Coronation we were lucky enough to walk around Windsor which was great."

Alex never thought much of her ability to recall faces until a notice went round at work asking employees if they fancied taking an initial test to see if they have what it takes to become a qualified Super Recogniser.

Despite its somewhat fun grandiose title, it's the official given term for an ability Thames Valley Police has become a leading force in utilising.

Alex said: "I'm one of those annoying people so I will watch a film and go, 'oh that's that guy from that film way back when'.

"Or if I'm walking down the street, 'oh I went to school with them 10,000 years ago'

"I always knew I could remember people but I didn't think much of it."

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Using her abilities to spot people she's previously dealt with in custody or match up different CCTV images may be more on the important scale, but it does come in handy elsewhere.

Alex joked: "It's great for pub quizzes, the picture round I can smash those. Not so great with other rounds but definitely the picture round.

"Because it's Super Recognisers it sounds a bit like you get the cape and you get something a bit more jazzy, but as it is you get to put an email signature on there and you help people identify the suspect in their offences."

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