Do strict rules and moving images increase the reliability of sequential identification procedures?



Live identification procedures in England and Wales have been replaced by use of video, which provides a sequential presentation of facial images. Sequential presentation of photographs provides some protection to innocent suspects from mistaken identification when used with strict instructions designed to prevent relative judgements (Lindsay, Lea, & Fulford, 1991). However, the current procedure in England and Wales is incompatible with these strict instructions. The reported research investigated whether strict instructions would enhance the reliability of identification from video. The effect of using moving rather than still video clips was also investigated. Participants witnessed a live staged incident, and attempted to identify the culprit later from police video lineups, which were run double blind. Strict instructions produced a significantly lower rate of correct identifications in culprit present lineups, but did not significantly reduce the rate of mistaken identification in culprit absent lineups. Moving images yielded fewer mistaken identifications in culprit absent lineups. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.