Ms Sylvia Lim asked the Minister for Home Affairs (a) for what kinds of offences have statements been video-recorded from witnesses and suspects during investigations by law enforcement agencies since video-recording was introduced in 2018; (b) what has been the impact of video-recorded statements in achieving positive outcomes, such as reducing allegations of involuntariness of statements; and (c) whether the Ministry will expand the categories of offences for which video-recording of statements will be required.
Mr K Shanmugam: The Member may wish to refer to past replies to Parliamentary Questions on the categories of offences for which video recording of interview (VRI) is conducted. In fact, we addressed this most recently in March 2023. [Please refer to “Offences and Cases where Video Recording of Interviews are Used”, Official Report, 1 March 2023, Vol 95, Issue 89, Written Answers to Questions section.] We will expand VRI to more categories of offences in future.
We currently do not conduct video recording for interviews with witnesses.
VRI has, indeed, been useful in providing an objective account of the interview, capturing non-verbal cues, such as the interviewee’s demeanour and expressions. However, it is not possible to state conclusively whether VRI has reduced allegations of statements not being made voluntarily because each case is different. In cases where such allegations are raised, VRI allows the Courts to take the interviewee’s demeanour into account in determining the admissibility or weight to be accorded to the interviewee’s statement.
Ministry of Home Affairs
8 May 2023