Police urge gun owners to secure weapons after sensitive documents stolen from former Auckland City police station

  • 08/06/2022

Police are urging gun owners to secure their weapons after sensitive documents were stolen from the former Auckland Central police station on Vincent St.

Police became aware of the breach when police property was discovered while police were searching a Mt Albert address for an unrelated matter last month.

Officers found a number of documents and expired pepper spray at the address, Auckland City District Commander Superintendent Karyn Malthus said.

Police said in a statement their investigation is ongoing, which has seen four people charged with burglary and receiving stolen property offences.

"Among the stolen property recovered were a number of documents which included firearms licensing information, containing people’s personal details," Supt Malthus said.

Malthus said the ongoing criminal investigation is continuing to establish who may have come into contact with the stolen property.

"Police would like to reassure the public that this matter is being taken extremely seriously and the protection of all people's information is of the utmost importance which is why there is a significant ongoing investigation underway," Supt Malthus said. 

She urged gun owners to secure their weapons. 

"In general, we always advise firearms license holders to remain vigilant around the security measures they have in place for their firearms," Supt Malthus said. 

"Keeping firearms holders safe is a key focus for Police and we continue to monitor any burglaries of firearms that occur."

Police said their investigation is still trying to determine the number of documents stolen and are contacting people whose documents have been obtained to advise them of the situation.

"As part of this, police are continuing to work with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner to ensure we are taking the appropriate steps moving forward," Malthus said. 

"There is nothing to indicate any involvement of organised criminal groups in this burglary at this stage."

Police said any incidents of this nature are routinely followed up by officers and firearms licence holders are encouraged to contact police if they have any concerns.

The Privacy Commission released a statement on Wednesday about the robbery saying any organisation holding personal information must protect the privacy and mana of the people who entrusted it to them.

"This means taking a whole-of-life approach to safeguarding information, including carefully disposing of it once it is no longer required to avoid the risk of it being inadvertently shared.

"As with any breach, police will need to conduct an investigation to fully ascertain the size and scope of the breach."

The Privacy Commission said they have so far not received any complaints about the robbery. 

"Our focus in these early stages is to provide agencies who have experienced a breach with advice on how to minimise the harm caused by the breach on the individuals impacted," they said.

"We would expect it to be the agency involved in the breach, Police in this case, who would usually provide you with details about the breach.

"While have not yet received complaints from this issue, anyone concerned their privacy may have been breached can contact our Office for advice and support on a case by case basis. Further information is on our website."