New Zealand Police apologises for issuing 20,000 notices in error

Summary:A computer problem resulted in thousands of people being accidentally ticketed.

New Zealand Police has apologised after a "temporary" computer problem led to thousands of people being accidentally ticketed for traffic offences that they weren't liable for.

Police says the problem arose when a fault in the police IT system resulted in vehicle data from the NZ Transport Agency between October 22 and December 16 last year not being automatically updated on police systems.

The glitch affected more than 20,000 traffic infringement notices.

The affected notices included mainly speed camera infringements, and a smaller number of other camera-related notices, including red light camera offences, as well as police-issued parking notices.

Among those affected were people who sold their vehicles during the two-month period, who were then incorrectly ticketed for offences incurred by the new owners or others driving the vehicles.

Also affected were those who had changed their address or their surname after getting married.

"Police sincerely apologise to all of those who have been affected by this one-off technical issue, which has now been resolved," national road policing manager superintendent Carey Griffiths said.

"I can also reassure anyone who has been incorrectly ticketed as a result of our mistake that they won't need to pay the fine, and anyone who has paid in error will be completely refunded."

The scale of the problem only became clear this week as a result of ongoing investigations, he said.

"Steps have been taken to ensure it does not happen again."

Topics: New Zealand, Government

About

Rob O'Neill is a writer for CBS Interactive based in Auckland, New Zealand covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet. He has previously worked for IDG, The Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne's The Age as well as various business titles, most recently editing the Business Sunday section of New Zealand's weekly national news... Full Bio

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