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Frequently Asked Questions
When are facial composites used?
Facial composites are used as a means to provide suspect names (leads) in criminal investigations. When no other compelling intelligence is available and the suspect is not known to the witness, they sometimes constitute the only means available for generating leads. They are used in both serious and minor crimes of many kinds (homicides, sexual assault, physical attack, distraction burglary etc).
How effective are your facial composite products?
Very effective indeed – particularly when well-trained officers are involved and efficient, effective use is made of the intelligence provided. The best performing forces using EFIT6 have reported naming rates of between 40% and 55% over a sustained period covering more than 1000 interviews. This is approximately 10 times the global average estimated in some academic studies.
What is the difference between E-FIT and EFIT6?
E-FIT is a feature-based composite system which works by asking the witness to describe and select from large databases of individual features to construct the composite. By contrast, EFIT6 is a holistic system in which the core mechanism for composite construction is a simple process of selecting and rejecting complete faces. In this way, there is a gradual evolution towards the target face. This evolution can be accelerated by a whole suite of other tools for adjusting the facial appearance.
Why two facial composite products?
E-FIT is a traditional, feature-based composite system that is particularly effective for those witnesses that are able to describe the target face and individual features of the face in detail. Such witnesses are generally in the minority but constitute an important sub-set. EFIT6 is a new technology whose performance is demonstrably superior for most witnesses. This is because the majority of people are far better at recognising faces overall and responding to examples than recalling details of a face and choosing features.
How long does it take to train a user in E-FIT or EFIT6?
We offer three courses – a 3-day basic level certification, a 5-day intermediate and a 10 day advanced course. For a user without any prior composite construction knowledge and experience of handling witnesses, we would normally recommend the 10 day training course which in addition to software training, includes the use of cognitive interview techniques, exhibit and evidence handling and effective use of composites within the organisation. For a user with prior composite and interview experience we recommend the 3 day or 5 day course (the latter provides for more extensive paint program work and extra witness practice).
Can you come and give a demonstration of the software?
Yes. If you are based within the UK we can normally arrange an on-site demonstration. For prospective international customers, we can arrange online demonstrations or on-site demonstrations by mutual agreement.
How do I get a trial version of your software?
Please fill out the contact form explaining what organisation you are from and what the software is to be used for – we can then arrange to send you a trial copy.
How do facial composite systems compare to sketch artists?
The police sketch artist possesses specialist skills and must undergo a long and highly specialised training. They are becoming increasingly rare and have even been described as a ‘dying breed’ by a senior US policeman. Electronic facial composite systems such as E-FIT and EFIT6 require only a short training course to reach a high standard of competency. Their ability to create accurate and well-finished likenesses is now indisputable. Further, it is much easier to train a cross-section of composite operators within your organisation and to pass on skills within your team.
Why does EFIT6 have a colour or black and white option?
Reports from forces using EFIT6 indicate that most witnesses are more comfortable constructing colour composites. We see naturally in colour and forces also report that more composites are being requested by investigators since the introduction of the colour EFIT6 system. We provide the option of black and white for flexibility. In some rare cases the witnesses and/or operators may find the black and white mode more comfortable.
Are the systems provided with accessories?
Yes. EFIT6 is provided with nearly 6000 accessories and E-FIT contains over 4500. These include a wide range of headwear, clothing, glasses, beards, moustaches, logos and items of jewellery.
Can I use my license on more than one computer?
Yes. E-FIT and EFIT6 are protected by a physical USB license key. This means that, in principle, you are free to install the software on as many computers as you like. To enable the full functionality of the software on a given machine, you simply plug in the license key. This offers considerable flexibility allowing you to create composites as the police station, at the home of a witness or in any place that suits your needs.
Do I need any special sort of computer to use your software?
Not at all. EFIT6 will run on any modern computer with only modest technical specifications.
Can your software be used with a graphics tablet?
Yes. We recommend that you consider using a graphics tablet when adding artwork with the paint program provided as it generally allows greater control and provides a more natural way of interacting with the composite image.
Do I need to buy any other software or add-ons to use your products?
None at all. E-FIT and EFIT6 are standalone programs and will run on any computer with an up-to-date Windows operating system. The E-FIT software requires the computer to be running at least .NET framework 3.5. This is part of standard Windows update so if your computer is kept updated there will be no issue. All new orders come with the Corel PaintShop Pro graphics software included. However, you can link any paint program of your choice to E-FIT and EFIT6.
How much does the software cost?
It will depend on your organisation and precise needs. We are confident that you will find our products excellent value for their high quality. If you fill out the contact form, let us know which organisation you are from, what the software will be used for, how long you require the license to run for and how many systems you require, we will provide a tailored quote to suit your needs.