Information sharing to help prevent crime

Police Minister Stuart Nash is encouraging feedback on an initiative that will help Police prevent crime by having the most up-to-date and accurate information about offenders.

Police and the Registrar-General, Births, Deaths and Marriages have begun public consultation on an information sharing agreement that will enable Police to receive information on registered name changes, deaths, and non-disclosure directions[1].

“Under the proposed agreement, Police will use the information they receive to match against the identities held in Police’s system. Where there is a match, Police will add the new name, indicate that the person is deceased, or indicate that the person has a non-disclosure direction in force,” says Mr Nash.

Police receives a limited amount of this information already from contact with the public but is not aware of the majority of people who change their names, have died, or have a non-disclosure direction in force.

The proposed information sharing agreement will enable the Registrar-General, Births, Deaths and Marriages to proactively provide this information to Police.

“The information will ensure that Police can maintain accurate records of people that it engages with,” says Mr Nash.

“This will reduce the risk of offenders escaping justice by changing their names, and provide the public with more confidence that Police can hold these people to account.

“There are also benefits to the wider public of enabling Police to have more accurate information about members of the public they engage with, whether as victims, witnesses to a crime, or people that Police is providing or connecting to a service. Police has a real focus on preventing harm in the community and ensuring they have accurate information is important to delivering that service.”

A Government Inquiry in 2015 year exposed weaknesses in identity management practices and systems in the Justice Sector and Border Protection agencies.

The Inquiry recommended that agencies develop systems to enable information to be shared more effectively between each other.

The public consultation will run between 9 October and 6 November 2018. People can visit www.police.govt.nz/AISA-name-changes-deaths to view the proposed information sharing agreement, public discussion document, privacy impact assessment and how to provide feedback.

After the consultation period, submissions will be considered and the Government will consider a final information sharing agreement. If the Agreement is approved, it will come into effect by mid-2019.

[1] A person can apply to DIA for a non-disclosure direction to prevent public access to a name change, where that name change is to protect them from harm from a person/s.