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Witness Identification in Criminal Cases: Psychology and Practice

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Witness Identification provides an up-to-date review on identifying crime perpetrators based on psychological theory and research. Applying psychology to the area of criminal identification, the authors make reference to relevant legislation such as the PACE Codes of Practice as they explore the psychology involved in identification.

This insightful and practical title will inform anyone interested in this area. The authors outline the psychological information relevant to constructing and delivering identification parades, such as the point of view of the suspect and witness or victim, how witnesses remember, and the factors likely to affect the accuracy of person descriptions. They also consider the effects of stereotypes and expectancies on identification performance, as well as a discussion of the technologies involved in identification procedure. The book includes a chapter on how to assist people who are deemed vulnerable in order to elicit accurate identification evidence. It also looks at other methods of identification in addition to face identification, such as methods to identify a person's voice and gait.

By providing an overview of legislation and guidelines to conducting identity parades alongside a psychological underpinning, this book is a valuable resource to anyone whose work involves identification procedures, as well as students of psychology, law and police studies.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199216932
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/15/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Rachel Wilcock is a Senior Lecturer at London South Bank University and teaches in the area of forensic psychology. Eyewitness identification is her major research interest and she works with a number of police forces across England and Wales. She has published widely in several peer reviewed journals and presented at a number of national and international conferences on the subject of identification procedures.
Ray Bull is Professor of Forensic Psychology at the University of Leicester. His major research topic is police investigative procedures. Professor Bull was part of the team commissioned by the Home Office to write Achieving Best Evidence in Criminal Proceedings: Guidance for Vulnerable or Intimidated Witnesses, Including Children (ABE). Professor Bull has advised a number of police forces on investigative procedures, and has testified as an Expert Witness in a number of trials, several of which involved witness identification. In 2005 he received a Commendation from the London Metropolitan Police for his assistance in a complex rape investigation. He has authored and co-authored a large number of papers in research journals and has co-authored and co-edited many books including Investigative Interviewing: Psychology and Practice. Rebecca Milne is a Principal Lecturer at the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies, University of Portsmouth. She has trained a wide range of professions including police officers in witness interviewing issues, and has performed consultancy work in the UK and abroad. Dr Milne is the Academic Lead of the ACPO Investigative Interviewing Strategic Steering Group and is chair of the associated research sub-committee. She was part the team who wrote a national training package to support Achieving Best Evidence and is currently part of team writing the Achieving Best Evidence: Part 2 document. She is a chartered Forensic Psychologist and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Police Science and Management.

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Table of Contents

Table of Cases xi

Table of Statutes and Codes of Practice xi

About the Authors xiii

1 Introduction 1

2 Perception, Memory, and Recognition Involved in Witness Identification 11

3 Giving Person Descriptions and the Effect of this on the Identification Process 29

4 Factors Affecting the Accuracy of Eyewitness Identifications 61

5 Identification by Voice or by Gait 89

6 The Effects of Expectations and Stereotypes on Identification 105

7 Recommendations for Conducting Identification Parades 121

8 Assisting Vulnerable Witnesses 141

9 New Innovations: Applying Psychological Science to the Real World 163

10 Where We Are Now and the Future 183

Index 191

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