The Police and the government want to implement a gun registry. They say it will make us all safer. Sensible shooters have been telling the government and Police that they can barely manage the existing register and that data security is paramount. A gun registry will simply be too tempting a target for the criminal fraternity to resist.

And so, yesterday we found out that misuse of police record database investigations has risen dramatically:

The number of back-office police staff investigated for misusing the police’s record database has jumped, but the police say the stats are in line with an increase in staff numbers.

The National Intelligence Application (NIA) system holds police intelligence, offence and incident records, and can only be used for legitimate purposes.

Documents released under the Official Information Act show that in 2018 there were four investigations about the misuse of the database by service centre staff – two were upheld.

But that leapt to 20 last year – of which 12 were upheld.

From 2018 to the end of 2020 nationwide there 146 investigations and just over half were upheld.

Twelve people’s employment was terminated as a result but the documents said this number included people who resigned during the process.


Just over half of the 146 investigations were upheld! And just 12 people lost their jobs. This is an appalling breach of trust, and shows that Police should not be anywhere near an expansion of any gun registry.

I know of one person who would be affected in these statistics, I’m also aware of two other cases where the NIA is missing dates and times that should be logged in the system and Police are obfuscating and playing silly buggers with my Official Information and Privacy Act requests. I can almost guarantee that there are plenty of breaches and inappropriate access to my file given how long they’ve taken thus far to process a simple request. This email was sent to me on 12 April, one month after I made the request:

We refer to your correspondence dated 12th of March, 2021 requesting information held by Police.

You may be aware that, under the Privacy Act 1993 we are required to respond to your information request within 20 working days.  This letter is to let you know that the further consultation with Police personnel is required to respond to your request. This means that we need to extend the time limit for responding to you (in accordance with section 48(1)(a) Privacy Act 1993.

You can expect a response by 30th May 2021.

Police email to the author

The Police know that I’m on to them. They further know that I will be coming for them with any breach. The fact they are faffing around tells you that they know they are busted and are trying to get everything lined up.

The problem the Police have is that I never ask questions that I don’t already know the answer to.

How they respond and what information they deign to give me, or what is redacted that shouldn’t be, will determine how I respond to them.

I believe that this request will show multiple cases of inappropriate access to my file.

So you can see why I no longer trust the Police with anything, much less maintaining secure databases.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news,...