Opposition police spokesman Nick Catania is trying to frighten legitimate pawnbroker and secondhand dealer clients with misinformation, according to Police Minister Bob Wiese.
Mr Wiese said only those people who were trying to dispose of stolen merchandise through pawnbrokers and secondhand dealers needed to have any fear of the recording of their transactions.
"What Mr Catania is doing is asking us to protect criminals from being pursued and let them make money from their ill-gotten gains," the Minister said.
Transactions remain confidential at all times through an automated system that transfers pawnbroker and secondhand dealer transactions to the Police Department via Fujitech IT.
Fujitech IT has been awarded the tender to receive data directly from the pawnbrokers and secondhand dealers.
Each day this data is retrieved by the police via the police computer's one-way link to Fujitech, following which the data held by Fujitech is deleted.
"The Fujitech system has undergone a thorough security check by police and there is no authority nor reason for Fujitech to extract information from the transmitted data," Mr Wiese said.
"I stress that Section 95 of the Pawnbrokers and Secondhand Dealers Act makes it an offence and provides for a penalty of $5,000 for any person divulging such transaction information.
"The public's integrity has been protected in the framing of this legislation as well as in the operation of the system.
"I am appalled that Mr Catania would use his office and position to smear such a positive initiative which has been designed to stop illegal trade in stolen goods through pawnbrokers and secondhand dealers."
For further information, contact Peter Middleton 322 2311