When Evidence is a Question of Image
Law Gazette, p. 34, May 2004
1 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2010
Date Written: May 13, 2004
The UK has the highest concentration of CCTV cameras in the world and there is seldom a major crime on the streets of our cities that is not caught on video. In Britain, there is now an estimated one camera for every 15 people, which amounts to more than four million in total.
Today, there are few cases that do not involve CCTV evidence, but how can it be used to maximum effect? As evidence in court, a CCTV image can often be difficult to decipher. As well as changes in clothing and hair that are an easy way for assailants to disguise themselves, the effects of camera lenses, street lighting and shadows can often make it difficult for a jury to judge the exact identity of a suspect in a CCTV image. To an untrained eye, these nuances can often be undeterminable.
The majority of identification work from CCTV is the comparison of a perpetrator caught on camera, with a suspect. This is commonly termed 'facial mapping', and is a practice employed by around 12 practitioner groups within the UK
Keywords: facial mapping, evidence, identity, CCTV
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