Disclosure scheme to increase safety of family violence victims

  • Amy Adams
  • Judith Collins
Justice Police

A new disclosure scheme will make it easier for Police to disclose a person’s violent criminal past to a concerned partner or friend.

Justice Minister Amy Adams and Police Minister Judith Collins welcomed the new Family Violence Information Disclosure Scheme as the latest in a series of improvements and new services available to family violence victims.

Justice Minister Amy Adams says the scheme will help reduce the incidents of family violence in the home and potentially save lives.

“There have been too many cases where concerned family and friends haven’t been able to find out whether someone they know or live with has a history of family violence,” Ms Adams says.

“This is a practical, potentially life-saving initiative that aims to increase the safety of people in a relationship with potentially violent partners. It will help people make informed choices about whether, or how, they continue the relationship.”

Police Minister Judith Collins says the scheme will give Police another tool to prevent or reduce serious harm from family violence.

“The scheme will assist Police to use the resources at their fingertips better and is an important measure in preventing family violence happening in the first place,” Ms Collins says.

“The Official Information and Privacy Acts already enable Police to disclose such information. This scheme is about improving the quality of service that Police provide to potential victims.”

The scheme allows people to ask Police about a person they are in a relationship with if they have concerns about their safety. Police will consider disclosing information on a case-by-case basis if it is legal and necessary to protect the potential victim.

Where there is serious threat to the safety of a partner or their children, which requires urgent action, the information request will be considered and the decision communicated within 24 hours. Other disclosure decisions will be made and communicated within 20 working days of the application.

Requests can be made in person to an officer at a police station or by telephoning Police.

Further information is available at www.police.govt.nz/advice/family-violence/family-violence-information-disclosure-scheme-fvids