Eyewitness identification procedures for multiple perpetrator crimes: a survey of police in Sweden, Belgium, and the Netherlands

Nina Tupper, Melanie Sauerland, James D. Sauer, Lorraine Hope

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Abstract

A considerable proportion of crimes that involve multiple perpetrators. Yet, little is known about how police officers construct, administer, and record eyewitness identification procedures for multiple suspects. An online survey of law enforcement agents in Sweden, Belgium, and the Netherlands (N = 51) was conducted to obtain an initial understanding of police perceptions of prevalence and characteristics of multiple perpetrator crimes, and to examine identification procedure practices given the little to no guidance provided for police. Practice converged when it came to the use of sequential, photographic lineups, but diverged between and within countries on whether or not suspects of multiple perpetrator crimes should be placed in separate lineups. Results specifically highlight contextual cuing as one critical area for future research in identification for multiple perpetrator crimes (i.e., placing multiple suspects in the same lineup or asking eyewitnesses to look for a specific suspect).
Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychology, Crime & Law
Early online date25 Apr 2019
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online - 25 Apr 2019

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