Published: 22 July 2015
1. The Singapore Police Force (SPF) and the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) will commence consultations on the Video Recording of Interviews (VRI) during investigations, with the view to start a pilot of VRI from the first quarter of 2016.
2. The Government is committed to an effective and fair criminal justice system. As part of continuing efforts to uphold these standards, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the Attorney General's Chambers (AGC) and the Ministry of Law (MinLaw) have been studying the feasibility of introducing VRI.
3. The feasibility study looked at how VRI has been adopted in the US, UK, Australia and Hong Kong and how the various models of VRI adopted have impacted on their administration of criminal justice. The inter-agency workgroup found that while Singapore's existing criminal investigation processes are robust, 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.
4. The implementation of VRI will provide the Courts with a video recording of the interview. This will allow the Courts to take the interviewee's demeanour into account in determining the admissibility or weight to be accorded to the interviewee's statement. It will 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.
5. The implementation of VRI is expected to require additional resources and time at various stages of the criminal justice process to record, review and present the VRI material. The pilot will involve a limited set of offences and allow for an assessment of the impact on investigations, its effectiveness in different situations, and the resources required before a decision is made on a broader implementation of VRI.
6. It is envisaged that the pilot will be conducted under the existing legal framework. We will commence consultations with various stakeholders on the implementation of the pilot. Further details of the pilot will be announced after the consultations have been completed.
Ministry of Home Affairs
22 July 2015