Watch: Indonesian police use snake to get thief to confess

Indonesian police have apologised after draping a live snake around the neck of a suspected thief to persuade him into a confession.

A video of the incident in Papua, Indonesia, shows the snake being placed around the neck of the man, while police question him about allegedly stealing mobile phones.

The alleged thief is asked how many times he has stolen mobile phones while the officers also threaten to put the snake down the man's pants.

At one stage, the snake's head was pushed towards the man's face, as he cowered away.

Local police have now apologised, with Jayawijaya police chief Tonny Ananda Swadaya calling out the investigating officer as "not professional in doing his job".

However, while Mr Swadaya said officers involved would face disciplinary action, he noted the snake was not venomous and was tame.

But Veronica Koman, a human rights activist, told Reuters that this had not been a one-off incident in Papua, but local police say they are not aware of any other similar cases involving a snake.