Shredding and Recycling: Negative Press
Shredding and recycling is the recommended way to get rid of that important data your office no longer needs, but still wishes to remain confidential. Recently, this common practice is appearing in the news for much more negative reasons both here and abroad.
The Metropolitan Police are under scrutiny after the discovery of mass-shredding of documents containing important information relating to a number of cases, including the murder of Stephen Lawrence. Lawrence was the victim of a racist fuelled attack in Eltham, London in 1993, which led to his death. Although an investigation into his death was carried out, it is suspected that officers involved in the investigation of his death were in fact corrupt. The way in which they dealt with the case meant that the individuals who carried out the attack were safeguarded. A mere two of the suspects have finally been convicted of their actions twenty years later.
Despite ongoing investigations into the murder over the years, it has been alleged that an abundance of evidence, including witness statements surrounding the murder, were amongst papers alongside those from other cases that have been shredded. This was not only to cover up the actions of the murderers, but the actions of the corrupted police officers who were acting to cover up evidence and to protect themselves.
In a case which is being investigated on the other side of the world in Queensland, Australia, it has been revealed that no charges are to be brought against the former GOSS government ministers accused of shredding documents related to child abuse cases in the early 90s. After a thorough investigation, it was announced by inquiry commissioner Tim Carmody that, although those involved could face criminal convictions due to their combined decision to destroy the documents, there is no real evidence in terms of a cover up.
Despite these cases bringing to light the negative side of shredding documents, it is a process that should be, and is being used more and more within office environments. In a world where fraud identity theft is a growing concern, it is essential that files and papers you need to get rid of are not just thrown in the bin. Not only does shredding enable us to get rid of confidential details safely, but it also allows for easy recycling too.