Page 1: Important Information

Nascent Visual Biometrics in Police Intelligence and Criminal Evidence - Impacts on Reliability and Fairness

Dear Sir or Madam,

You are warmly invited to take part in a research study being conducted as part of a PhD project at Northumbria University. 

This PhD research project explores how computer vision technologies used for visual biometric identification (such as facial recognition or gait analysis) are used in both police intelligence and as criminal evidence

This part of the research study will explore how various legal stakeholders such as solicitors/barristers or the judiciary view and weigh such evidence.

This information will help to better understand how these technologies impact and are impacted by our justice system. This research may also help inform future legal policy regarding these technologies.

Do I have to take part?

You are under no obligation to take part in this study. Your participation is voluntary and you may withdraw at any time without giving a reason.

What do I have to do?

You will answer questions in a questionnaire. You do not have to do any prior research, and in fact are encouraged not to do so. You are not expected to be able to answer every question. The questions will revolve around your interactions with algorithmic evidence (if any), and include three case studies which ask for your opinion. 

A select few participants may be followed up for a potential interview about their answers in more detail if necessary, though this is again voluntary. You can opt in to being followed up for this via a section on your questionnaire. You may opt out at any time.

How will my contributions be used?

Your contributions will help inform a PhD research project by a doctoral researcher at Northumbria University. They will be published as part of a final thesis, and may also be published in scientific or legal journals. All contributions will be anonymous, and when published will offer no indicators of your identity or the identity of your employer. You will be identified only by your job role. For example “A solicitor stated…” or “A magistrate said…”. All interview notes will be held securely in storage for a period of three years, after which they will be securely destroyed.

Contact for further information

The researcher for this study is Luke Chambers, who can be contacted at

We are very grateful for your valuable contributions to this work.

Yours faithfully,

Luke Chambers