Say Cheese!

No, this isn’t another food post.

I heard Sean Plunket interviewing Assistant Police Commissioner Jon White on Morning Report this morning. Commissioner White revealed that during the police raids in Ruatoki the police photographed every person that passed through their roadblock. This was done by politely asking the occupants of cars to alight from the vehicle and pose for the camera.

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I’m sure that most law-abiding public, confronted by a policeman dressed like Darth Vader, would not have resisted the request for a photo, even though they were within their right to refuse.

For Jon White to say that the images have now been deleted is not good enough. How can he prove that they have been deleted? Can he assure the people of Ruatoki that their images aren’t being stored on a database somewhere?

Some people will say that if you haven’t done anything wrong then you have nothing to fear at this gross invasion of privacy. I say that it is just that – a serious breach of people’s rights to go about their daily business without hindrance.

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  • By Ray, October 25, 2007 @ 3:33 pm

    The Police have no more right to take your photo than a member of the public
    On the other hand who would say no if asked if they minded if someone could take a picture
    And what about all the videos running in CBDs, fuel stops and over cash machines
    “Gross invasion of privacy” I don’t think so
    But certainly worth some thought….but if it stops crime what would be your opinion then?

  • By Skinny, October 25, 2007 @ 7:58 pm

    Well, I probably wouldn’t say no if the person asking was kitted out in combat gear.

    The debate is always privacy against stopping crime – surely we can maintain privacy and still catch criminals. This photography of the occupants of cars (100 in all) was just a blanket coverage – not targeted in any apparent way.

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