Helping Police track down stolen goods

Parliament will get the chance to debate a common sense law that will help police track stolen goods being sold through second-hand dealers and pawnbrokers.

The Secondhand Dealers and Pawnbrokers (Electronic Records) Amendment Bill was pulled from the Member’s Ballot today. The legislation has been drafted by National’s Port Waikato MP Andrew Bayly.

Police often need to access records kept by second-hand dealers and pawnbrokers to track goods suspected of being stolen, but many dealers appear to only keep handwritten records or printed computer copies to comply with their current obligations under the law. This makes transferring the data extremely difficult and time-consuming for Police.

Counties Manukau Police have developed a computer program called Serial Number Automated Checker (SNAC), which is able to read and mass-process dealer records. National’s proposed law change would complement this technology by requiring all dealers keep and supply records in a machine-readable format, Mr Bayly says.

“This will allow Police to receive the records by email, process them electronically, and compare the data against records of known burglars and stolen property, faster.

“The law hasn’t kept pace with technology in this area, and this common sense amendment will help Police do their job quicker and more effectively.

“National wants our Police to have all the tools and support they need to do their job better. I urge the Labour Government to support this draft legislation become law.”

You can read a copy of the Secondhand Dealers and Pawnbrokers (Electronic Records) Amendment Bill here.