Should Police be able to tell partners about abuse history?

The Herald reports:

Justice Minister Amy Adams has told police to revise their guidelines so they can secretly warn people if their partner has a history of violent abuse.

Ms Adams said she was waiting to see how well a United Kingdom law went before introducing measures that would allow people to go to the police themselves to find out whether their partner had convictions for abuse.

However, as a “sensible first step” she had asked police to review their operating guidelines so they could notify people if their partners had a record of domestic abuse.

This seems sensible, even laudable, to me.

But privacy issues were involved in allowing people to request that information themselves. Currently, someone else’s criminal record could only be shared with their consent. “So you’ve got to start thinking how you would draw that line where if someone is moving in with someone, how do you prove that’s the case, what’s the level of connection before they should be able to do it.”

Well personally I don’t think criminal records should be private. They are all handed out in open court (except where suppressed). I actually think all convictions (except minor ones the clean slate law applies to) should be listed online in a searchable database.

Comments (20)

Login to comment or vote