While electronic recording of interrogations gains momentum in the US in light of recent policy change in the Federal government and its decision to require electronic video and audio recordings of interrogations, the rest of the world maintains a wide variety of positions on the matter.
iRecord wants to share tidbits from what’s happening around the world when it comes to interrogation and capturing testimony and confessions. This month we spotlight Ireland.
Advantages of Video Recording to Audio-Only
Even the Irish have discovered the advantages to video recording and the way that a video recording adds to the complete picture. One inspector, Chief Inspector Shaw was quoted in a news piece from an Irish publication BreakingNews.ie.
1. Video Recording Provides a More Complete Story as the Story Unfolds
He stated that not only did videotaping allow people to make an informed assessment on the day and while the investigation progressed, but that:
“It allows you the full picture because unfortunately the written word does not always provide that full picture. The phrases, how people have said, how people interact.”
2. Video Recording Reduces the Number of Challenges to Interrogation
Another noteworthy comment the inspector made was regarding a downturn in the number of challenges that were made when it came to confessions taken during electronic recordings.
“The audio tape now stops all of that, the videotape is that step further where you can see the full picture in the room so there is nobody doing things they shouldn’t be in the interview room,” he said. “That stops the allegations,” Chief Inspector Shaw added.
3. Video Recordings Support the Shift from Seeking Confessions to Seeking Truth
The 90s were marked by a type of “confession-based culture” where investigators and law enforcement seemed more driven to get confessions than to get at the truth. Now that many agencies are using video recording, investigators are covered and the accountability of the video is right there to meet them.
4. Video Recording is Important in Serious Criminal Cases for Quick Feedback & Interaction
During an interrogation of a suspect involved or suspected of a serious crime, a team comes together to take and witness the interview from a remote monitoring room, and the suspect cannot see the team. The inspector explained that during a serious case, “They would simply be watching the interview as it progresses, and be able to give feedback in times where there is a break between interviews.”
5. Video Recording Ensures Correct Interview Techniques
One thing that Irish officers know when it comes to video recorded interviews is that their techniques will be reviewed, critiqued and feedback given. That being said, video is not released outside the doors of the enforcement agency unless or until the case has been closed and the suspect convicted. Protecting the identity of the interrogator as well as those involved in the case is critical.
To read more of Chief Inspector Shaw’s story, click here.
How well does your video recording equipment hold up to the advantages outlined here? Are you able to provide the strongest evidence in serious criminal cases? How do you provide feedback to your investigators when it comes to their training and development as law enforcement agents?
Contact iRecord to learn more about how we can support and help you close cases more quickly while achieving justice and seeking truth at the same time.