Making the best use of video identification parades and meeting the needs of vulnerable witnesses

Lead Research Organisation: Royal Holloway, University of London
Department Name: Psychology

Abstract

Abstracts are not currently available in GtR for all funded research. This is normally because the abstract was not required at the time of proposal submission, but may be because it included sensitive information such as personal details.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Visual identification plays an important role in the investigation and detection of crimes in the UK and eyewitness evidence can play a major role in prosecutions. The aim of the proposed project were (1) to undertake a detailed analysis of the outcome of video identification parades conducted on a sample of Scottish and English police forces in 2009-2010; (2) to develop a draft identification package for police forces based on up-to-date psychological research. We would also like to develop an information booklet for witnesses taking part in identification parades. During the course of the project a standard pro-forma was developed for recording eyewitness decisions together with directions on how best to apply the Police and Criminal Evidence Act Codes of Practice, (2011). Eyewitness identification decisions from 1,039 real parades conducted in England in 2009-10 were analysed. Consistent with prior field studies using live parades, the suspect identification rate was 39%, the filler identification rate was 26%, and the lineup rejection rate was 35%. In line with our key goal, guidance for the conduct of video parades was developed taking into account the results from the field study and in close consultation with participating police forces.
Exploitation Route The project provides new data on the factors that can influence video identification performance in field settings. Our results show that suspect identification rates remain unchanged with the use of video. However, some procedural aspects of the video identification procedure are problematic. We found that witnesses who requested at least one additional viewing of the lineup were two and a half times more likely to identify fillers than witnesses who did not request any additional lineup viewings. Filler identifications are known errors but filler identification rates cast doubt on the reliability of suspect identifications. We are suggesting revisions to the PACE guidance on multiple viewings of video identification parades. Two scientific papers have been prepared (one is in press in the International Journal- Law and Human Behavior).
Video was introduced to use resources more efficiently. Live parades were difficult, costly and frequently cancelled due to lack of suitable volunteers. Video parades can be put together within 24 hours and hence the question arises as to whether the shorter delay will increase identification rates. Our data suggest the speed with which a video identification parade can be put together is likely to impact suspect identification rates. The longer term effect on prosecution of crimes is something that should be examined. The shorter delays also have a further beneficial impact for the police in that it increases the chances that when victims and witnesses come forward an identification parade can be put forward in a timely fashion and before a witness/victim changes their mind about helping the police.
Sectors Other

URL http://www.pc.rhul.ac.uk/sites/rheg/
 
Description Visual identification plays an important role in the investigation and detection of crimes in the UK and eyewitness evidence can play a major role in prosecutions. The aim of the proposed project were (1) to undertake a detailed analysis of the outcome of video identification parades conducted on a sample of Scottish and English police forces in 2009-2010; (2) to develop a draft identification package for police forces based on up-to-date psychological research. We would also like to develop an information booklet for witnesses taking part in identification parades. During the course of the project a standard pro-forma was developed for recording eyewitness decisions together with directions on how best to apply the Police and Criminal Evidence Act Codes of Practice, (2011). Eyewitness identification decisions from 1,039 real parades conducted in England in 2009-10 were analysed. Consistent with prior field studies using live parades, the suspect identification rate was 39%, the filler identification rate was 26%, and the lineup rejection rate was 35%. In line with our key goal, guidance for the conduct of video parades was developed taking into account the results from the field study and in close consultation with participating police forces.
First Year Of Impact 2012
Sector Other
Impact Types Societal

 
Description Research reveals ideal ID parade format 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact BBC news coverage of ESRC project on identification parades
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011