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Video-Recorded Interviews to strengthen human rights protection

July 13, 2021 4:06 pm
[Source: Fiji Police]

The Fiji Police Force is scaling up its initiative to strengthen early access to justice through implementing Video-Recorded Interviews.

The First batch of the video recording equipment worth FJ$230,000 will enable police officers to record interviews and monitor what takes place in interview rooms.

It allows them to operate both remotely and in the interview room and keep records on the server for a defined period.

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The equipment was received by Acting Commissioner of Police, Rusiate Tudravu, who says that the Early Access to Justice initiative is a collaborative effort by all key stakeholders of Fiji’s justice sector, in partnership with the Department of Justice, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Legal Aid Commission and Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission and supported by New Zealand Police Advisors who are strategically placed within Fiji Police Force.

Tudravu adds that the First Hour Procedure now is to be expanded to other parts of the country.

He says as a result of the initiative, they have seen improvement in communication skills of officers and a reduction in the number of complaints against Police officers for conduct during the interview process.

Tudravu adds that the video recording equipment they received today will enable them to ensure another key component of Early Access to Justice, which is Video-Recorded Interviews.

He says the Video-Recorded Interviews will be implemented by their investigators who will be trained for investigative interviewing skills.

The Video-Recorded Interviews are aimed to strengthen transparent criminal procedures and safeguard both the rights of detained or arrested persons and police, encouraging them more evidence-based rather than confession-based investigations.

New Zealand High Commissioner to Fiji Jonathan Curr says New Zealand is pleased to support the Fiji Police Force in the areas of capacity development of police officers and procurement of equipment that will assist Fiji Police to meet its international human rights obligations.

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