Today, we are talking about police interviews and ten things you need to know.
1. Giving a statement
The first thing you need to know, if you are involved in a police investigation and you are being interviewed by the police is, you will be asked to give a statement. This statement will be recorded in English after the interview.
2. Speak in your most comfortable language
The second thing that you need to remember if you are attending a police interview is, you can choose to speak in the language that you are most comfortable in, this includes a dialect as well. So, if it’s Hokkien, or Teochew or Cantonese, something that you feel that you will be able to communicate and convey your feelings and your explanations better and more clearly than English, tell the interviewer.
The third thing is an interpreter or translator will be made available to you if that really is the case. If you really cannot speak in English very well or understand the interviewer. That’s something that will be made available to you.
4. Check your statement
Number 4, after the statement is recorded by the investigator, a copy is usually shown to you, either in writing or printed out. What you need to know is you need to check that this statement is accurate very carefully before you sign it.
5. You can make amendments
Because number 5, you can make amendments to the statement before you sign it. Many people think that after the interview is complete. The statement is produced all they have to do is to sign it and they don’t have any other options. That’s not true. You can make changes if you don’t understand a particular word or if you don’t want to use a particular choice of words that have been used by the interviewer to convey what you had to say. Use your own words. Because ultimately, is supposed to represent what you have to say.
6. Remember your statement
The next thing you should bear in mind is, you will not be given a copy of the statement, so, make a point to try to remember exactly what was reproduced in that statement. Because you will not get to see a copy of the statement until very much later.
7. You cannot meet your lawyer
Another thing to bear in mind if you involved in a police interview is, in most situations, you won’t be given an opportunity to speak with your lawyer before the interview. Many people think because they’ve either seen it in the movies or they read it in books in other countries. That’s what happens. “Can I speak to my lawyer first before the interview starts?”, that’s what some or most people, if not everyone tries to do before the interview. But the fact of the matter is in Singapore, most situations will result in you not having that opportunity to do so.
8. Tell the truth
The next thing is you must tell the truth during the interview because you can be prosecuted and charged with an offense of giving false information to the interviewer
9. Give your explanation early
The next thing you should know about police interview is that if you are accused of having committed the offence. If the interviewer/the police, are directly saying that you have committed an offence. You must give your full explanation early. Otherwise, your explanation may not be believed if you give it only much later.
10. You don’t have to admit to an offence
Related to this is the final point. If you are directly accused of having committed an offense and you are accused of doing something wrong or acting in a certain way which led to the offence being committed. You don’t have to admit that you’ve done it. You don’t have to admit that you’ve committed the offence because this is your right under Singapore law.
So, there you have it, 10 simple but important things to bear in mind if you are involved in a police interview.
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