Ex-Victoria police officer Brett Guerin trolled people online with racist and sexist posts, Ibac finds

6 months ago 117

The erstwhile brag of Victoria police’s ethical standards portion utilized 3 pseudonyms to station racist, sexist and homophobic comments portion trolling radical online, an probe has found.

In a study tabled to the Victorian parliament connected Tuesday, the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission recovered erstwhile adjunct commissioner Brett Guerin utilized the names Vernon Demerest, Clive Howlett-Jones and Grange Callendar to marque hundreds of posts portion helium was connected and disconnected work from 2016 to 2018.

At slightest 70 of the posts “could beryllium deemed offensive”, the study found.

Guerin resigned successful February 2018 portion nether probe by Ibac.

However, Ibac recovered Guerin’s trolling did not interaction connected his work, contempt the elder serviceman utilizing accusation helium received arsenic portion of his occupation to pass immoderate of his comments, and posting astir matters successful which helium had a declared struggle of involvement oregon was expected to marque a disciplinary ruling. Ibac did not find immoderate grounds that his determination making arsenic adjunct commissioner was compromised by immoderate underlying beliefs oregon view, the study said.

As portion of the investigation, Ibac reviewed 189 ailment files successful which Guerin had an progressive relation successful the decision-making process which was different “at hazard of bias”, audited emails and browser histories for Guerin’s enactment and idiosyncratic devices, reviewed Guerin’s unit record and ailment history, and summonsed Guerin to a backstage examination, arsenic good arsenic conducting a transgression interrogation with him.

Ibac recovered that portion Guerin’s behaviour was violative and inappropriate, it did not conscionable the modular required to record transgression charges.

The study outlined respective examples of Guerin’s trolling, including posting inflammatory comments connected a Facebook leafage acceptable up by household members of a idiosyncratic nether probe by Victoria police.

When idiosyncratic posted successful a abstracted Facebook group, called “Victoria Police Corruption”, that an serviceman progressive successful an incidental would not suffer their job, Guerin responded nether a pseudonym: “I wouldn’t stake connected that cocko”.

Guerin aboriginal signed a disciplinary complaint announcement against the officer, who was yet dismissed, the study found.

“Ibac’s reappraisal of ailment files did not place grounds that Assistant Commissioner Guerin’s decisions (including those made successful his erstwhile presumption arsenic a superintendent) were affected by bias.

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Photograph: Tim Robberts/Stone RF

“However, his behaviour risked damaging the integrity of and assurance successful Victoria Police investigations.”

Guerin explained his behaviour to Ibac arsenic “my ill-judged mode of venting, trying to relieve stress”. He said helium accepted Ibac’s findings and acknowledged the “inappropriateness of the worldly I posted and its imaginable to undermine assurance successful not lone maine personally but Victoria Police generally”.

“Mine is simply a salutary acquisition for others that determination is, ultimately, nary anonymity connected the net and thing posted should beryllium considered temporary.

“Venting connected societal media is an unhelpful and, ultimately, destructive mode to woody with the stresses 1 faces.”

Ibac’s recommendations

Ibac made respective recommendations to Victoria police, including that it see introducing psychometric investigating arsenic portion of its process earlier appointing elder leaders, ensuring its recruitment and promotion processes bespeak “contemporary champion practice”, and overhaul its societal media policy.

The anti-corruption watchdog noted that though Guerin’s behaviour was uncovered successful 2018, and it had recommended an update of the societal media argumentation successful August 2019, the unit did not finalise it until this June. The argumentation has since been criticised arsenic excessively intrusive by the constabulary national and is again being reviewed, the national reported to members earlier this month.

Victoria constabulary should besides guarantee that accusation astir civilian litigation is included connected the unit record of members, Ibac said, aft uncovering that Guerin had antecedently been sued erstwhile helium was a superintendent for allegedly making racist comments to a colleague.

Ibac recovered constabulary reached a confidential fiscal colony with Guerin’s colleague, and portion Guerin did not quality that helium had utilized the connection alleged, helium claimed it was not a racist remark successful the discourse of the conversation.

Ibac recovered the behaviour had been considered successful 2 earlier unsuccessful applications by Guerin to beryllium promoted to adjunct commissioner, but the cognition of this was “derived from a sheet member’s anterior consciousness of the substance connected some occasions, alternatively than done ceremonial recruitment and probity processes”.