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Londoner of the Day goes to the policeman who used his powerful memory to help snare 185 people who trashed the capital city during three days of rioting last summer.

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PC Gary Collins scoured through hundreds of hours of CCTV, using his exceptional mind power to pick out suspects during investigations in the aftermath of the disturbances.

This week at the Excellence in Total Policing Awards, PC Collins won the gong for Police Officer of the Year – handed to him by London Mayor Boris Johnson.

Hackney officer PC Collins, 43, said: “It’s really nice to be recognised like this.

“Everyone says I have a photographic memory, I just have a knack of remembering faces or other characteristics like eyes, tattoos and scars.

“During the disorder people had their faces covered with baseball caps but I was still able to spot them by the shape of their face.

“I’ve been in the Met since 1995 and everyone trusts my judgement because they know I never forget a face.”

Turning his natural talent to fighting crime saw PC Collins hailed by London’s top cop, commissioner Bernard Hogan Howe.

“When officers and staff do an outstanding job I want them to know how much it is valued by myself and the rest of the Met, and no doubt the Londoners they serve.”

“In an organisation of our size it can be easy to overlook some of this great work. We intend to be the best and today we are giving awards to the best officers and staff in the Metropolitan Police.”

London24’s Londoner of the Day aims to find people in the capital who have done something special or made the news and created a talking point for the day. It can be someone famous or an unsung hero such as a charity stalwart.

If you’d like to nominate someone for a future Londoner of the Day mention you can email London24 editor Simon Bull at


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