NSW Police has given us more reason not to fall foul of the law – it intends to keep all those physical and digital copies of mug shots even after people are found not guilty by the courts.
The reason why police get to keep these records forever? Well the NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal tells us it's because those lawmakers in Macquarie Street forgot to consider mug shots and surveillance photos when framing LEPRA.
The Tribunal also says; “NSW Police Force is not required to comply with the information protection principles when taking photographs of a person in lawful custody under s 133 of the LEPRA”
LEPRA allows for the destruction of finger and palm prints, but this legislative oversight leaves the way wide open for police to indulge in some petty revenge by keeping people in the database who have no criminal record.
Now I had a wee hunt back in time and discovered that LEPRA was enthusiastically embraced in 2006 by none other than the present NSW Police Minister who said in Parliament that “We want to re-empower police in relation to arrest and research with what is known as LEPRA—the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act.”
So the O’Farrell Government can’t just blame NSW Labor for the current stupidity.
Here’s one recent example of a person having prints destroyed but photos retained by police.