'Spotty Hoody Man' hunted by Croydon riot police
A MAN wearing a distinctive hooded top is among the latest suspects wanted in connection with last summer's riots whose pictures have been released by the police.
The looter, in black Adidas trainers, was caught on CCTV sitting on the floor, his arms resting on his knees and his hood pulled up over his head.
Acting Detective Inspector Heather Rook, who is heading the investigation into the disorder, believes he may have been one of the ringleaders on August 8.
The team are so familiar with his handiwork they have taken to calling him "Spotty Hoody Man" – such is their focus on catching him.
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"We need him identified as a matter of priority. I would say at this stage he is our most sought after person," Inspector Rook said.
Starting from today, her team will be releasing new images each week of people they want to speak to about the riots.
The photos will be automatically uploaded to the Metropolitan Police's profile on image-sharing website Flickr.
Officers have arrested 494 people for rioting or looting in Croydon last summer, and 184 of the 513 offences believed to have been committed have now been attributed to someone.
There are still, however, more than 400 people who need to be identified from pictures taken from CCTV or other sources.
Inspector Rook said the number of unidentified pictures had halved since March thanks in part to the work of PC Paul Smith, an officer working with the Croydon branch of the Met's riot investigation team Operation Withern.
"Paul has been extremely proactive in getting the images to the right people to try and get them identified," she explained.
"To date he has been extremely successful. We have identified 50 pictures now and he's only been working at it five weeks."
The team have also made use of police 'super-recognisers' – officers or civilian staff known for having an exceptional memory for faces.
One such naturally gifted officer based in Hackney has identified 180 people involved in last summer's riots – all without moving from his desk.
Inspector Rook said: "Photographs have now become the primary focus of our investigation and we will use any and every method at our disposal to identify the people we are looking for."
If you can identify any of these people call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, quoting the relevant reference number on the photo caption.