Police lose track of 28 deportees

Police lose track of 28 deportees

Police have confirmed they have lost track of 28 offenders deported back to New Zealand and have no way of tracking them down.

They're part of a large number of deported criminals who arrived last year before a law change came into force requiring them to give new address details to authorities.

Police have no explanation for the bungle, apart from saying the deportees are off the grid and untraceable.

It's lucky there aren't more who have evaded police, with figures showing more than 200 offenders arrived back in New Zealand before the legislation was rushed through Parliament.

For the majority of last year there was no law which required addresses and other details to be handed over, until they started flooding back as a result of Australia introducing new hardline deportation rules.

The law passed on November 18 and puts parole-like conditions on the criminals returning, allowing police to get fingerprints and addresses for these people.

Police and Corrections Minister Judith Collins says it's not as bad as it looks.

"The fact that their current address is listed as 'unknown' means they have not come to police attention since their arrival back in New Zealand.

"The important point is that police know exactly who they are, and their identities are on police systems," says Ms Collins.

Police told Newshub their plan to find the 28 offenders comes down to chance.

If these people do somehow come into contact with officers -- whether that's through an arrest or even just a routine traffic stop -- then they will get their details.