Where the police enquiry is about the patient and not you
While it is a normal reaction to comply with such a request and engage in a discussion, or provide a written statement, it is not always appropriate to do so. More often than not, full details of the matter the doctor is being asked to discuss or comment on are not known or disclosed by the police. Additionally the dilemma about whether or not to disclose confidential information can have very sharp thorns, particularly for doctors, under the various Privacy Act provisions.
The risk of compliance with such a request inadvertently subjecting you, the doctor, to a Privacy Act complaint or otherwise is ever-present in this situation – hence the need for guidance.