Case Note 209484 [2010] NZ PrivCmr 15: Police disclose recognisable image of crime victim to media

A man (‘the victim’) worked at the front counter of a finance company which was robbed at gun point. The finance company provided CCTV footage of the robbery to the Police. The Police took a series of still photographs from the footage and disclosed these to the media to assist in apprehending the offender. However, the victim was clearly visible in one of the photographs. This photograph was published by a number of news agencies, both in print and on the internet.Principle 11 of the Privacy ActPrinciple 11 provides that an agency shall not disclose personal information unless it has reasonable grounds to believe that an exception applies to allow that disclosure. The Police disclose images of robberies and other crimes to the media in order to identify and apprehend offenders. This is a commonly used method and appears to deliver good results.

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