Privacy broken to save lives

The Dominion Post 20 August 2008

Police are flouting privacy laws to save the lives of domestic violence victims. Officers battling to curb domestic violence in a region described by one murderer as “the most evil valley in New Zealand” are sharing files relating to offenders and victims with agencies that are not party to official agreements allowing information-sharing. The decision to bend the rules has the support of agencies receiving the potentially life-saving information – and even the privacy commissioner accepts privacy laws should not stop information sharing where safety is at stake.

…Investigations by commissioners into child murders, such as those of Masterton half-sisters Saliel Aplin and Olympia Jetson in 2001, blamed a lack of information-sharing for the deaths and continuing cycle of violence.