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Video interviewing will ‘make police force more credible’

Video interviewing will ‘make police force more credible’

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The use of video cameras while interviewing suspects of serious crimes should add confidence to the judicial system.{{more}}

But according to Christopher Sandrolini, Charge d’Affaires at the United States Embassy in Barbados, this tool could be most effective particularly in cases where witnesses are made to testify against dangerous criminals.

“You have to have some measure of confidence for people to testify against dangerous criminals, and how you go about that?”

There are a lot of ways, Sandrolini explained. However, taking evidence in private or taking testimony via electronic means – or recording confessions could be very valuable with proper safeguards in place, Sandrolini contended.

“That’s really important, because then they are not really challengeable,” he told SEARCHLIGHT in an interview last Friday.

Twenty-four officers from the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force completed training in the use of this technology recently.

Commissioner of Police Keith Miller told members of the media that the reason for the introduction of videotaped interviews was because members of the local constabulary had been experiencing problems in respect of the conditions under which statements were given.

“There are instances where the court required a voir dire because of certain allegations. With the availability of this new piece of equipment, the jury will be able to see what took place in the interview room when suspects are being interviewed,” Miller said.

He added that when statements were given in the absence of recording, the degree of weight that was given to the statement must be treated with caution and care and that now that the interviews will be able to be replayed for jurors, it will give them (jurors) a better understanding of what took place.

“This, I believe, will make the police force more credible, and it will make our investigators more professional,” Miller explained. (DD)

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