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Police to trial videoing victim statements

Police in Counties Manukau will trial making a video of a victim’s statement at the scene of family violence incidents.

Taking a video statement at the scene, rather than requiring victims to travel to the Police station to make a written statement about what happened, is expected to reduce stress for victims, save Police time and provide richer evidence for court cases.

Victims will be asked to give their consent to make a video statement, and Police will use their mobile phones to record the statement. The statement made can then be played in court.

“Victim video statements are part of a larger programme of work to provide better services to victims and further reduce harm caused by family violence,” said Justice Minister Amy Adams. "Counties Manukau Police have received support for the initiative from Victim Support, Eastern Women’s Refuge, and Court Services for Victims at the Manukau District Court.”

The pilot will be evaluated, including getting feedback from frontline officers and victims, and recommendations made about next steps.

Recording statements from victims of family harm was first trialled in Palmerston North from November 2015 to July 2016. Following the trial, amendments were made to the Evidence Regulations to allow mobile video records to be shown in family violence criminal proceedings.

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