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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 September, 2003, 14:32 GMT 15:32 UK
Police switch to video line-up
Video lineup
Images are loaded into the system for a virtual identity parade
Traditional police line-ups are being abolished to make way for video links in Northamptonshire.

The county's police force said the process is being changed to make the ID parades less stressful for both suspects and victims.

Inspector Mick Smith told BBC Radio Northamptonshire it will also help to bring about quicker convictions.

He said: "It's much quicker to organise, and it's fairer to the suspect because the database is so large."

Cost savings

There are thousands of images of people from around the UK on the video database.

The video shows a head-and-shoulder shot of the suspect together with several more images, which Inspector Smith said would "guarantee a fairer system for the suspect".

He added: "They also reduce the time from arrest to parade and there are cost savings with regard to volunteer fees."

The Video Identification Parade Electronic Recording system, known as VIPER, was pioneered by West Yorkshire Police in 1996.

Several forces have adopted the technology as it has become more costly and difficult to recruit volunteers to take part in live identity parades.

Police test video ID parades
04 Apr 02  |  England

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