Almost since the beginning of organized law enforcement, the confession has been one of the most potent pieces of evidence investigators can submit to a court trial. When it’s not a false confession given by someone who is just trying to attract attention, a legitimate confession has weight with both the law and a jury.
In modern law enforcement, it’s not unusual for confessions to be garnered in an interview room. Suspects are typically interrogated, sometimes before, or even after an arrest has been made. The interview room can be a central place for gathering crucial evidence. As a result, every effort should be made to ensure the preservation of the interview here.
Machines Are More Reliable
For decades, law enforcement has understood the value of mechanical recordings in the interview room. A written record of events that transpire in an interview room is prone to doubt and skepticism since any deception can be manufactured and written down, even if the interview objects to the written report.
However, once recording devices such as tape recorders came into use, objections about what really happened in an interview scenario dropped considerably. With the advent of recording interviews in the 1980s, a suspect, for example, could no longer claim something was never said if a recording could be played back confirming to everyone that an admission or critical piece of verbal evidence was said and preserved in the record.
Cameras & Microphones
Today, modern interview rooms rely on visual and audio recordings. Video cameras have been in use in interview situations for years. Still, for decades, the quality of these recordings was not at what the media industry would consider professional grade. The general consumer cameras used were blurry, and the audio from cameras was inferior, due to sound now being a distant source from the microphone on the camera. Only if an extra effort was taken to synchronize the video image with a recording closer to the source, could better audio be achieved?
Modern interview recording systems are far more cognizant of law enforcement needs. Officers no longer have to make do with ad hoc solutions jury-rigged from general consumer products. Today’s interview cameras are at high resolution to capture all the detail. They can use a variety of different audio recording techniques, including wiring microphones to the interviewee if required.
Good interview room recordings can sometimes be the critical evidence that can aid or even lead to a prosecution. However, the better, more precise and more comprehensive interview footage is, the better it stands a chance of being admissible in court as evidence.
This is why both video and audio components of an interview must be at the highest possible quality. Sometimes the difference between evidence that makes the case in court and unusable footage is “fuzzy” audio from a low-quality recording source that makes it difficult to understand what a suspect has said.
For any law enforcement group that wants to make sure their interviews are at the highest quality, we can help. Contact Supercircuits, and we evaluate your interview room situation and improve it.