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As Arms Bill Hits Parliament, New Corruption Data Exposes Police

The Council of Licenced Firearms Owners is calling on Police Minister Stuart Nash to front up and explain, after releasing new figures showing that since 2011, Police employees have been caught 244 times for unauthorised use of confidential and sensitive Policing databases.

“These figures raise serious questions about the Police’s oversight of the Government’s proposed firearms register,” says Nicole McKee, Spokesperson for the Council of Licenced Firearms Owners (COLFO).

“If the Police can’t keep the information they already have secure, how do they expect us to have any confidence a criminal’s goldmine such as a national firearms register would remain safe?”

The revelation of Police misuse of databases comes as Members of Parliament debate and vote on the second reading of a Bill that creates a database of every firearm in New Zealand.

“The figures prove that it is almost certain that a register of all firearms would be unlawfully accessed and jeopardise the safety of law abiding firearms owners whose information (including security information) would be at risk,” says Ms McKee.

“Anyone voting for a register needs to accept responsibility for what happens when it is eventually accessed unlawfully.”

“Everyone on it, and all New Zealanders, are at risk from criminals who attain the information to steal and use firearms.”

“This isn’t just a database of information – it’s a database of the location of every firearm in New Zealand. It’s dangerous information in the wrong hands – and unfortunately, based on these disturbing figures, those wrong hands include the Police themselves.”

McKee says that these latest figures, coupled with the breach of the firearms notification database late last year, have eroded any remaining faith licenced firearms owners had in Police to protect their data.

“The unlawful disclosure of information and Police corruption paints the picture of an agency ill-equipped to protect licenced firearms owners’ personal details.”

“There is at least one case where a corrupt Police officer has sold database information to gangs. When all firearms are on a database, all New Zealanders are put at much more risk than they are right now.”

The figures obtained under the Official Information Act released by the Council of Licenced Firearms Owners (COLFO) show that since 2011 Police recorded:

  • 244 instances of unauthorised use of a database
  • 244 breaches of privacy and confidentiality
  • 138 dishonesty offences
  • 21 cases of inappropriate or unlawful disclosure of information
  • 9 instances of corruption
  • 9 instances of corruption

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