Queensland Police have announced they have introduced a monitoring program to track gun thefts following the accidental release of shooters’ information.
Or so they are saying.
The data leak
READERS will recall that earlier this year, Queensland Police accidently released the email addresses of over 500 shooters in the Moreton area. In the wrong hands, this information could help criminals work out who has guns they can target for burglaries.
While the police quickly apologised, they were slower to put in steps to monitor when guns are stolen from those owners, which is something we believed was necessary.
Click here to see our earlier story on this.
Why the program is needed
Gun laws are often justified on the basis that a problem exists.
If there was a spike in gun thefts in an area, the police will push for even tighter storage laws – or ramp up safe inspections in that area.
If the leak of data in Moreton led to an increase in gun thefts, then we need to know that because without it, the police will blame the increase on the owners.
But if the reason why gun thefts goes up is because of the police’s own actions, then the focus of the cause needs to be on their own systems – not on the shooters who were the victims.
Knowing if gun thefts go up in Moreton will help highlight the dangers of registries, or at a minimum, stop police from targetting licensed owners when the gun owners are the innocent party.
Real accountability is needed.
The good news is that the NSC received this commitment from the Queensland Police minister’s office on the establishment of such a program:
A monitoring program! That’s great to hear.
Although, on reflection, the statement is light on detail. In fact too light. For example, who will do this and for how long? Who will the results be given to for independent assessment? Will we see them?
Pushing for more information
As with other matters, we feel the minister’s office is being misled by Queensland Police, so wrote back to the author inviting her to expand on the information:
The deadline of 9th of April has been and gone. We received no response, and no request for extra time in which to respond. Maybe the minister’s office can’t get the information it needs?
We recently revealed how the minister’s Chief of Staff had been misled over what Queensland’s appearance laws do.
We also revealed how Queensland Police were trying to work around the privacy considerations of Commonwealth medical records by gaining covert access to MyHealth Record relating to licensed shooters.
Queensland Police’s reputation is starting to look pretty ordinary, so our bet is that this is was an attempt by Queensland Police to dupe its minister’s office by promising a program that probably doesn’t exist.
However to be fair, the opportunity for the minister’s office to respond remains open – and we’ll let you know if we do get something back.