Publishing names of drink drivers

continues to show very good instincts as a Minister. The Herald reported:

Minister Judith Collins says she will change the law if police and court staff fail to find a way of routinely making public lists of convicted drink-drivers.

The bureaucrats get so detail obsesses sometimes, they forget the big picture. They were basically saying a conviction is a personal private matter and should not be publicised unless a reporter actually happened to be in court during the hearing.

That was and is an outrageous view. Criminal convictions are not private matters. They are by their very nature public, unless a name is suppressed.

I actually think all convictions should be publicly available through a searchable database.

Her comments come after police yesterday rescinded a decision to stop releasing lists of convicted drink-drivers to media. The about-face came after Ms Collins met senior police staff on Monday and requested they re-examine the decision.

Requested. Ha. I bet you that is a polite word for it.

Police spokesman Jon Neilson said the issue of “ownership of information” was at the heart of the review.

As it stood at the moment, police laid charges with the court, but their involvement effectively ended with prosecution. The information belonged to the court, he said.

No convictions are not private property of the court. They are public information.

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