Eyewitness ID: Why Confidence Matters


Royal Holloway University of London hosts roundtable event.

See attendees and agenda here.

See rapporteur’s report here.

The research of Dr Mickes, Professor Wixted and colleagues  focuses on the challenge of increasing eyewitnesses ability to make an accurate identification of a suspect at the police investigation stage which translates into reliable evidence in court.

Key research findings:

  • When a witness has high confidence in an identification at the first opportunity at the line-up stage, it is more likely to be correct
  • Making an identification in court is unreliable and too late, and is the equivalent of contaminated forensic evidence
  • Accuracy is significantly better for simultaneous line-ups compared to sequential ones
  • The practice in the US produces more reliable outcomes than current UK practice
  • Accuracy and the reliability with which suspects are identified can be significantly improved in the UK, which will result in safer convictions and better outcomes for victims and witnesses of crime
  • Higher eyewitness confidence and reliable identifications can result in significant savings

Event details:


8 December 2016


1:00-2:00 p.m. Registration and lunch

2:00-4:00 p.m. Roundtable


11 Bedford Square

The roundtable will consider the following questions:

  • How can the research findings improve current police practice in the UK?
  • How can Police and Crime Commissioners drive these changes?
  • What are the implications for police practitioners?
  • How can other parts of the system (e.g. courts) benefit from improved practice?
  • What savings can be produced through improved practice?