Spanish criminal sentenced to take part in identity parades

Spanish criminal sentenced to take part in identity parades
Archive photo of police ID parade. Photo: Oslo police / Wikimedia commons
Forget prison or a hefty fine, one Spaniard has been ordered by a judge “to take part in police line-ups” after being found guilty of traffic offences.

In what many may see as a light punishment, a man caught driving without a licence was told he could avoid a six-month prison sentence and €775 fine if he agreed to undertake line-up duty.

He will have to be available between 9am and 3pm Monday to Thursday over a period of nine months starting in March and will only be called if he shares similar characteristics to the suspect.

The court in A Coruña in the northwestern region of Galicia made the deal under new guidelines issued by Spain’s Judicary and Mnistry of Interior to allow offenders undertaking community service to be used in identity parades.

Police have long struggled to find volunteers to take part in identity parades which involve a witness or victim attempting to pick out a suspect from a line-up of similar individuals.

The sentence, the first of its kind, serves “an important pilot test in a process that needs better coordination so as to be available to all courts quickly and simply,” said Judge Antonio Perez Loma.

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