British police today defended their decision to issue an e-fit of a burglary suspect who looked as though he had a lettuce on his head.
Hampshire police issued the image to try to trace a distraction burglar who stole £60 from an elderly woman in Stockbridge.
The offender was described as having wavy blonde/greying hair and being about 40, but the e-fit showed the man with green hair that local residents said looked like a lettuce – causing much laughter in the market town.
Officers said a technical problem has caused the unusual hair colour and admitted it was not the “best quality”.
A Hampshire police spokeswoman said: “We make every effort to ensure that the e-fits we circulate are as accurate and detailed as they possibly can be from the description provided by the witness.
“This is borne out by the quality and detail contained within the facial features. We are, though, currently experiencing technical problems with the quality of the hair and are waiting for an upgrade to the system from the company who provides us with the software.
“It is important to point out that the suspect in this case is described as having blond-grey hair.”
She went on: “We have a duty to do all we can to identify those involved in crime, prevent further occurrences and protect the public and while the hair on this image may not be of the best quality, it takes nothing from the overall clarity of the facial features.
“It would therefore be wrong to withhold the release of the e-fit just based on this technical issue. We would never release an e-fit a victim disagreed or was unhappy with and in this instance the victim fully supported the publication of this image.”
Detective Constable Danielle Robinson said: “I would like to hear from anyone who has information about this incident or who recognises the man in the e-fit image as he may be able to help with our inquiries.”