POLICE officers are outraged by procedures which require them to attend identification parades in open court, saying they are humiliating and make them look like criminals. Crown Prosecutor John Wood promised he would examine the issue to see if changes were needed. Regional Anti-Triad Unit Senior Inspector Wong Tze-yim expressed officers' anger at the parades in a formal complaint to force management. He said members of his staff had been identified in court by defendants in at least eight incidents. In a memorandum to force management obtained by the South China Morning Post, Inspector Wong outlined the identification of police officers in a recent blackmail and loan shark trial. All five defendants in the case had pleaded not guilty. Their defence counsel alleged confessions had been obtained by threat and assault, and requested that police officers be identified by their clients. All Regional Anti-Triad Unit officers, whether serving or those who served during the investigation of the case, were instructed by the prosecuting counsel to attend an identification parade in court. The judge left the court during the identification process. ''In the presence of prosecuting and defence counsel, court staff, CSD [Correctional Services Department] officers, defendants' friends and relatives and members of the public, the defendants were let out of the dock to identify the police officers concerned,'' Mr Wong said. The defence counsel then got the names of the officers identified as having allegedly assaulted the defendants. Mr Wong said officers felt insulted as they were treated as if they had done something wrong. ''According to my experience, such identification parades have become a practice whenever admissibility of confessions becomes the subject of argument in court,'' Mr Wong said. ''Do we as police officers and also persons before the law have the right to object to some unsatisfactorily and poorly handled procedure of law, especially when we are subject to accusations of a criminal nature?'' He asked why police officers did not have the same safeguards as criminal suspects, whose identification parades were held in a closed room. He called on force management to talk to the Legal Department and find out if there were ways to safeguard their rights. A police source said officers had already brought the issue to the attention of police headquarters, which was looking to improve the procedure. Mr Wood admitted the issue was difficult. ''We are looking into it with a view to advising prosecuting counsel and police officers,'' he said. A judge also agreed that the police officers had grounds for complaint. ''The present judicial system is in favour of defendants,'' he said. ''When an identification parade is held for a criminal suspect, it is required to mix actors with the suspect to avoid any leading identification. And the parade is conducted in a closed room. ''But the same protection is not extended to police officers. ''It is very embarrassing for police officers to be identified in front of the public. They are human beings and should have their dignity protected.'' Dr Nihal Jayawickrama, chairman of Justice Hong Kong, said there was no legal provision for an identification parade of police officers to be held in an open court. ''An open courtroom, in full view of the public present, is hardly the place for such an identification parade to be held,'' he said.