POLICE investigating allegations of assault and theft during a raid at the Whitehead detention centre have been using disciplined service personnel in identification parades because of a shortage of actors. It is understood more than 50 parades have been held in the past 15 weeks. Official force guidelines stipulate that actors should be recruited from a casting agency, if possible, to give the parades an impartial atmosphere. However, this has not been followed this time, mainly because it is considered there is an insufficient spread of actors resembling the police and Correctional Services Department officers accused by 102 Vietnamese boat people of assault in the April 7 raid. Police sources say waiting for actors with the desired appearance to become available would cause an unacceptable delay. About 250 Vietnamese, police and custodial officers have been interviewed. A separate inquiry has been set up to look into the circumstances behind the disappearance of personal property during the frantic forced removal of detainees. ''Initially, our inquiries were focused on the assaults,'' a source said. ''But we then became aware of claims of missing property so we took that on as a separate inquiry. ''There is a massive amount of personal items that are claimed to have gone missing during the raid. ''We have got to the point where we are nearly finished with identification parades.'' The source said of using officers in parades: ''There have been no complaints with this process. ''Because of the people who are supposed to be in the parade, we can't use the actors this time as it is impossible to get a supply resembling clean-cut looking officers. ''They are normally required to look a bit like riff-raff. ''But we are a while off completing this investigation. It has been really slow going. The New Territories South Regional Crime Unit initially assigned a team of 70 officers to the inquiry. However, this has since been scaled back to a squad of 25 with assistance from a corps of Vietnamese translators, who are carrying the bulk of the workload. The report is not expected to be finished for another three weeks. The Legal Department will assess the report before passing its options to the Director of Public Prosecutions. The government inquiry by two Justices of the Peace into the pre-dawn swoop by 1,200 officers declared that widespread assaults had been committed against detention centre inmates. More than 500 rounds of tear-gas were used in the raid, aimed at transferring inmates and segregating a smaller group for deportation.