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Video identification of suspects: a discussion of current practice and policy in the United Kingdom

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Procedures for eyewitness identification of suspects in the United Kingdom must adhere to the Police and Criminal Evidence (PACE) Act Codes of Practice. These Codes stipulate what methods can and cannot be used, what must be said to eyewitnesses before the procedure, and how procedures must be constructed. Our approach has been two fold. The first has been to contact all police forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to obtain copies of the protocols followed when they conduct identification tests. The second has been to review evidence from the psychological literature on a range of factors that can influence outcomes on eyewitness identification tests. We make several recommendations that would bring PACE in line with research-based best practice, including mandatory single-suspect procedures, blind administration, and systematic recording of eyewitness confidence. The technology and the structure of specialist identification suites in the UK would allow each of the recommendations to be implemented effectively and inexpensively.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-315
Issue number3
Early online date13 Mar 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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