11 Apr 2013

More police misusing database

4:09 pm on 11 April 2013

Dozens of police staff have misused their national database to view other people's information for personal reasons.

Figures obtained under the Official Information Act show police employees misused the database 29 times last year and 56 times in 2011. In 2008, there were just three breaches.

Police have investigated more than 140 breaches of its database over the past five years. Just over half of those cases resulted in disciplinary action being taken and one person was fired.

Police Minister Anne Tolley said on Thursday it is not good enough that dozens of staff have misused the database.

Mrs Tolley said the staff of 9000 access the system hundreds of times a day and the number of workers inappropriately looking at the database is comparatively small.

She said the public has to accept that there will always be a few workers caught inappropriately accessing the database.

Labour Party police spokesperson Kris Faafoi says Mrs Tolley needs to be asking questions of Police Commissioner Peter Marshall to ensure the number of breaches comes down.

Lawyer Marie Dyhrberg says measures governing police access to the database are clearly not strong enough as they are not deterring officers.

However, police say they conduct regular random audits of their database and its usage is closely monitored.