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Tynwald approval sought for video identification 8 May 2007

REVISIONS to the Police Code relating to the identification of suspects will go before Tynwald later this month for approval.

The Department of Home Affairs sought public views prior to revising the new draft Police Code D, as required under the Police Powers and Procedures Act 1998. If endorsed by the Court, the new Code will allow video identification to be the primary source of identification from May 18.

Home Affairs Minister Martyn Quayle MHK said:

‘If approved by Tynwald this will speed up the ID process enormously. Instead of waiting many days for people to volunteer to take part in identity parades, the Isle of Man Constabulary would be permitted to source video clips of similar people to the suspect and hold a video ID parade very quickly. It will benefit both the police and the suspect by saving a lot of time.
‘Some submissions made by the police following publication of the initial draft have led to minor changes in the new draft Code which is before Tynwald later this month. If approved, it will provide the police with a more modern and efficient method of identification.’

Chief Constable, Mike Culverhouse, commented:

‘This latest positive initiative by the Department of Home Affairs is very much welcomed by the Isle of Man Constabulary. I am confident that we will derive considerable benefit from the new scheme and this will inevitably speed up justice to the benefit of everybody concerned. By working in close partnership with the Minister and Chief Executive of the Department of Home Affairs, Will Greenhow, we are making progress in terms of developing our I.T. based solutions to meet the needs of a modern criminal justice system.’

The Police Powers and Procedures Codes (Amendment) Order which is item 15 on the Tynwald Order Paper, will be moved by DHA Member George Waft MLC on behalf of Minister Martyn Quayle, who will be absent from the Court on Parliamentary business.

Video identification, under the amended Police Code D, would retain all safeguards for suspects to have advocates present at all stages of the process. There is no change as to the procedures governing refusal to appear in a video identification or any identification method compared with the current Code. The new type of video identification has the following advantages:-

The speed at which the process can be arranged is one of the most significant advantages:

  • The speed at which the process can be arranged is one of the most significant advantages. Video parades have been held within one hour of an arrest being made.
  • A video identification parade can be shown to witnesses before the suspect leaves custody, following arrest.
  • Suspects who are not identified will be able to be released earlier.
  • Identifications can be carried out within a short time of the event in question. This will assist everybody concerned.
  • Identifications can be made from a portable lap top computer giving more flexibility on the places that identifications can be carried out (e.g. at home or a hospital bed).
  • The cost of running identifications is dramatically reduced compared with parades using volunteers.
  • Video identification is much less traumatic for victims in particular.

Video identification was introduced in the UK in 2002 and there are currently 24 out of the 37 English Police Forces using it, along with Scottish Forces. There have been more than 30,000 video identification parades held by these Forces during the past 12 months.

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