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Offender identity check Bill passes first reading

By   /  September 13, 2016  /  Comments Off on Offender identity check Bill passes first reading

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MIL OSI – Source: New Zealand Government – Release/Statement

Headline: Offender identity check Bill passes first reading

A Bill creating more effective and streamlined processes to verify the identity of offenders has passed its first reading in Parliament with overwhelming support, Justice Minister Amy Adams says.

The Enhancing Identity Verification and Border Processes Legislation Bill enables agencies to work together to identify offenders and ensure they meet the conditions imposed on them.

“The Bill also makes sure offenders and other high-risk individuals cannot leave New Zealand without permission or hide who they are through the use of multiple aliases,” says Ms Adams.

“This Bill will strengthen our systems that are used to identify offenders by enabling them to be based on unalterable information like fingerprints and facial recognition rather than name-based records.”

It includes:

  • authorisation to disclose identity information between justice, border and related sector agencies to identify high-risk individuals and protect the public from harm
  • the ability for specified justice and related agencies to access key identity information, such as the births, deaths and marriages database, when enforcing the law
  • improved powers to prevent certain offenders and mental health patients ordered by the court to remain in a secure facility from leaving New Zealand without permission.

“The independent inquiry into the escape of Phillip Smith/Traynor highlighted the need for a step-change in how agencies manages offender identities,” says Ms Adams.

“This Bill puts public safety first and ensures that agencies can use identity information more effectively. It also has in-built safeguards to prevent inappropriate use of this information through clear parameters of when information can and cannot be shared.”

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