Advising a suspect on identification procedures
Advising a suspect on identification procedures

The following Corporate Crime guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Advising a suspect on identification procedures
  • Should a suspect ask for an identification procedure?
  • Does a suspect have to consent to a request for an identification procedure?

Should a suspect ask for an identification procedure?

A suspect may need legal advice on whether to request an identification procedure where the police have not offered one.

A code of practice for the exercise by police of statutory powers to identify persons has been issued under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, known as PACE Code D. PACE Code D provides that an identification procedure may be held if the officer in charge of the investigation considers it would be 'useful'. This applies even if the conditions for a mandatory identification are not satisfied.

See also Practice Note: Eye witness identification evidence.

In advising a suspect about whether to request a formal identification procedure, the police station advisor will need to take into account several factors. These include the state of the evidence, the original description given to the police by a potential eye witness and the possibility of other identification evidence, eg CCTV footage.

See Advising suspects on identification procedures—checklist.

PACE Code D provides that the original description of a potential identification witness must be disclosed to a suspect or their lawyer before an identification procedure is conducted. However, there is no entitlement to see it before a decision about whether to hold a procedure is taken.

There is nothing in PACE Code D which prohibits an identification procedure after charge.

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