12/11/2014 11:20 EST | Updated 02/10/2015 05:59 EST

Newfoundland law to allow police easier access to info on missing persons cases

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - New legislation in Newfoundland and Labrador would allow police to apply to a judge for access to personal records in a missing persons case without having evidence of criminal wrongdoing.

Premier Paul Davis says the Missing Persons Act is intended to help police move more quickly on investigations where it is known that a person is missing.

Currently, police must have evidence of criminal wrongdoing before being granted access to medical, financial, telephone or other personal information.

The legislation would allow police to apply to a judge for a search order or a record access order where a person has been reported missing.

Applications would be made in cases where a person may be in danger but police cannot obtain an order under the Criminal Code because there is insufficient evidence to believe a criminal wrongdoing has occurred.

Davis says the information would only be gathered when a missing persons investigation is underway and only be divulged for the purpose of furthering the investigation.

The provincial government says similar legislation has been introduced in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Nova Scotia.