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Fiji Time: 4:01 AM on Sunday 21 September

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Video boost justice

Dawn Gibson
Saturday, January 26, 2013

THE Fiji Police Force has improved its investigative procedures by constructing a new video interviewing room which they opened on Thursday.

With their theme for the year being 'Plugging the Gaps through systems and processes', this new move is a way of ensuring they attain this annual goal.

The room was officially opened by Chief Justice Anthony Gates at the Criminal Investigations Department.

"With the introduction of video interviewing of suspects in custody, we can expect to gain many improvements to the justice system," Mr Gates said.

"The first and most important benefit to be obtained is that video interviewing of suspects will be a fair and transparent process, which anyone can judge when the tape is replayed," he said.

He added that the process would be "fair to the suspect and to the interviewer".

The Chief Justice said it would remove the need for a number of trials in the future.

"Undoubtedly, there will be fewer trials, and fewer trials within trials.

"A well-conducted interview will invariably result in a guilty plea which in turn reduces the amount of time detectives need to spend at court.

"And thus provide time for work on other pressing investigations, the courts will save time too, and other trials can be dealt with."

He also stated the responsibility which came with these duties.

"Every effort must be made to reduce the risk of harm to the community," Mr Gates said.

However, he reminded those tasked to uphold the law and order of the country to do it to the best of their ability and in a manner befitting of the honourable task.

"But those charged with fighting crime must do so with a combination of vigour, intelligence, integrity, fairness and honesty, law enforcement agencies must be professional," Mr Gates reminded those present at the opening on Thursday.


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