Glitch sees police email go public

ALL IT took was the press of a button and suddenly scores of people were granted instant access to detailed criminal records.

Members of the public were able to view photographs, learn names and addresses and read detailed police profiles on 12 offenders.

Hervey Bay resident Peter Schuback was one of up to 50 people accidentally emailed a police intelligence report from Brisbane, which was supposed to go to internal police email accounts.

Mr Schuback, who says the information contained details of drug crimes, larceny and traffic offences, can’t believe police made such a “huge error”.

“The police actually contacted me later on and asked me to delete the documents,” he said.

“But I have since sought legal advice and I believe that by deleting them, I would be tampering with evidence.

“These people may want to sue the police for releasing their personal information, which breaches the Privacy Act.”

The Queensland Police Service said the report was sent out by mistake at the hands of a “civilian staff member acting in a senior role”.

Mr Schuback wants those involved to be penalised over the mistake.

He is concerned that the incriminating information could fall into the wrong hands or could be used against people.

Mr Schuback says he reported the incident to the Crime and Misconduct Commission but was told no action would be taken against the police.

“The police are saying it was just a mistake; well, when people make mistakes on the road they are out there writing them up,” he said.

“But when they do something wrong, they get away with it.”

A police spokesperson said the matter was being investigated.

“As soon as the mistake was identified, the recipients of the email were contacted personally, informed of the error, and asked to delete the email,” the spokesperson said.

“Commonwealth law makes it an offence to disseminate or make use of electronic information received in error.”

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