Something in the form of; a judicial reproof of a bad police method was delivered by Mr Justice Denniston yesterday in the Supreme Court in dealing with the signed, statement of, a prisoner produced in Court as evidence in support of a crime.
"•I hold the questions to be entirely wrong/ said his Honour, referring to the manner in which the statement was elicited. "If the object is -to obtain information as to whether they are going to arrest a man or not, the police are entitled to ask questions, but when their intention is to arrest him they are not entitled to ask him any questions at all. In this case they state that they had not made up their minds to almost liim, but they -asked him- to go; to the station, and, there they took his statement. What is the use ? They asked him certain questions, and got a definite and distinct denial. It is difficult to know under what circumstances they wotild not have arrested him. How a denial should have altered the question I am at a, loss to understand. All that the police should do when a man is taken to the police office- is to tell him that if he likes to make a statement they will take it down, and that means that they should take it in the words of the accused, without asking him questions." "Nothing is more unsatisfactory," his Honour added, " than to deal with a statement made practically under cross-examination. It reads like a continuous narrative, and yet a question may have been interpolated at any stage, of the proceedings, and you do not know what the result is. Unless you get the question and answer it is very unsatisfactory."
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POLICE METHODS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8791, 11 February 1914
POLICE METHODS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8791, 11 February 1914
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