The National VIPER® Bureau


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The National VIPER® Bureau working in partnership with West Yorkshire Police


The National VIPER® Bureau is a police owned and managed video identification system providing a range of products and services to the police.

The service, created by West Yorkshire Police, provides video identification parades as part of a fully managed secure identification parade system. Customers include Forces within England and Wales together with the Police Service of Northern Ireland and Police Scotland. Additional sites are operated by the Royal Military Police in Germany.

The service has been highly successful in producing up to 50,000 parades a year by the use of specialist editing techniques and processes. Communication within the UK is via the Public Services Network (PSN), allowing forces to work securely and collaboratively to identify the suspects of crime. VIPER® Users operate a simple software interface to record images, select volunteers to appear alongside the suspect and to request the parades to be viewed by witnesses.

Every image is quality controlled by VIPER® throughout the process, allowing ID Officers the time to organise and manage witness viewings and provide case management. The Service offers a fully integrated training team to assist new Forces whilst continuing to support and update its existing Users across the UK.

The service employs a dedicated team to record images of ‘stand-ins’ for use in parades. The images on the database cover the whole range of appearances found within the UK. Where suspects of unique appearance exist, the team are able to replicate features (in line with current legislation) to enable an ID parade to take place, even in the most complex cases.


The VIPER® Business Process

The Service has been highly successful for over 15 years in UK courts due to its unique system design, adherence to best practice and compliance with international standards and quality assurance.

The service provides a 3 stage process which includes:

  • A quality check of each suspect clip recorded by a local Force ensuring suspect recordings adhere to national image standards.
  • Access to a professionally managed database and User interface to select volunteer images and request parade productions.
  • Production of video identification parades to meet the requirements of customers using specialist editing techniques.

The delivery of parades and suspects is via the Public Services Network enabling parades to be downloaded by any Force in the UK for a witness viewing. This flexibility together with image security and control supports the Home Office aims of driving innovation, collaboration and improved efficiency in policing.

VIPER® Volunteers



If you, or any of your family or friends, are unfortunate enough to be a victim of crime (or to witness a crime) your description of the offender may be used by police to generate a video identification parade to help identify possible suspects for that crime.


However, to produce the best possible video identification parades we need to ensure that a representative database of anonymous faces exists which reflects the diverse ethnic and cultural make-up of the UK population. Without this database victims of crime may have their opportunity to identify offenders from video identification parades restricted.


To build a database of faces, which reflects the diverse range of ethnicity and culture in our communities, we record volunteers from across the UK and from all walks of life.  Our recording locations include universities, colleges, schools, offices, shopping malls, community groups and many other organisations happy to host our recording sessions.


We are currently working with community groups to ensure that the faces of people from all cultures and backgrounds, as well as varying  ages are represented, providing victims of crime the opportunity to identify offenders and help bring them to justice.


Why we urgently need your help?


We are now seeking assistance from those able to host a recording event. Each volunteer who attends will have their image recorded and will receive a cash payment for their time and effort.  Although this payment is paid directly to the volunteer, it is not unusual for hosted events to be used as fund raisers.


Your personal details, such as name, date of birth and address are NOT required. Only your age and nationality will be recorded and your images will be for identification parade use only.


All personal information supplied is stored securely in compliance with Data Protection Legislation.


If you can assist by hosting a recording session please contact:


[email protected]


If you would like more information please visit our website


Twitter: @WYP_VIPER


Every crime has a victim and every victim needs our help