Victoria Police suspend officer after Dean Laidley photos leak

A Victorian police officer has been suspended and could be charged after images of former North Melbourne coach Dean Laidley leaked while in custody.

The images, which showed Laidley presenting as female while under police care, were published by various media outlets this week.

Victoria’s Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton told media yesterday that the officer had been suspended from duty, and could face a fine of up to $40,000 and two years jail time if charged with ‘unauthorised disclosure of information’.

“We understand the officer has been cooperative and remorseful,” Patton said.

“It’s unacceptable conduct, it’s appalling conduct, and that type of conduct has no place in our organisation.”

“It breaches a person’s privacy, it breaches their human rights, and we’re taking this matter extremely seriously.”

LGBTIQ+ advocates have raised concerns that the leak could have been motivated by transphobia, which Victoria’s Police Minister has denied.

“It was an idiotic thing to do, it’s an unacceptable thing to do,” minister Lisa Neville said, adding that an investigation was underway.

“I think this had much more to do about football than it did about anything else, but let the investigation go on.”

Veteran transgender advocate and just.equal spokesperson, Martine Delaney, said the minister’s dismissiveness of transphobia sends a negative message.

“Ignoring the likely transphobia behind this incident sends a message to trans sportspeople and police that the authorities don’t care about the prejudice and discrimination they face,” Delaney said.

“Victoria Police must investigate transphobia as a motive, and do more to challenge transphobia in its ranks.”

Delaney and just.equal are calling for all Australian police to implement consistent and high-standard training on trans and gender diverse issues.

“The fact this occurred just days after Victoria adopted a new progressive law recognising transgender people, shows law reform must be accompanied by campaigns to improve attitudes and practices.”

OIP Staff

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