Identification parades and photos

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Identification parades and photos

You do not have to participate in an identification parade.

Police must get your permission before taking your photo.

Identification parades

An identification parade is where the police put you in a line-up of people. They ask a witness to look at the line-up to see if they can pick you out as the person who committed the offence.

You do not have to be in an identification parade. The witness could make a mistake and pick you when you did not commit the offence. Get legal advice.


The police may take a photo of your face so they can tell who you are:

  • in a police cell
  • if you are released from custody on bail but with conditions that you report back to a police station.

You can refuse to have a photo taken of your face or any other part of you. It might end up being used as evidence. For example, you can refuse to let the police officer take photos of your injuries (like bites) or special features (like tattoos).

The police officer cannot use any force to make you have a photo. You can make a complaint if the police officer takes your photo without your permission.

In some cases the police may get a court order so they can photograph you.

Get help

Find out how you can get help dealing with police.

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