Police and CNB may videotape interviews during investigations

Police and CNB may videotape interviews during investigations
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SINGAPORE - The Singapore Police Force (SPF) and the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) are exploring the possibility of having video recordings of their interviews during investigations.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said that the two agencies will commence consultations on the video recording of interviews (VRI), with the view of introducing VRI from early 2016.

MHA explained that the implementation of VRI will enable the Courts to "take the interviewee's demeanour into account in determining the admissibility or weight to be accorded to the interviewee's statement".

Video recordings of interviews would also "provide an objective contemporaneous account of the interview process and allow the Courts to decide on allegations that may be made about the interview".

According to MHA, the pilot of VRI, which would be conducted under the existing legal framework, would involve a limited set of offences to allow for an assessment of the impact on investigations, its effectiveness in different situations and the resources required.

The ministry said that it had been studying the feasibility of introducing VRI along with the Attorney General's Chambers and the Ministry of Law, by looking at how it had been adopted in the US, UK, Australia and Hong Kong.

"The implementation of VRI in Singapore will further strengthen confidence in the integrity of our criminal justice system and assist the Courts to try cases more effectively," MHA said.

seanyap@sph.com.sg

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