Victorian Police Officer Avoids Dismissal Over ‘Homophobic’ Remarks 

Victorian Police Officer Avoids Dismissal Over ‘Homophobic’ Remarks 
Image: Victoria Police. Image: Facebook / VIC Police.

A probationary constable in Victoria narrowly escaped termination after making “degrading and homophobic” comments regarding a gay couple involved in a domestic violence case.

The officer, who made the remarks in the presence of a gay colleague and a female constable, faced a disciplinary review by the Police Registration and Services Board (PRSB).

Officer appeals Victorian Police decision

Victorian Police initially sought to dismiss the officer, who had answered phone calls related to the domestic violence incident, for his inappropriate comments made in a private area of the station. The remarks caused significant distress to his colleagues, leading the female officer to consider resigning from the force.

The PRSB, while condemning the officer’s comments as expressing “disgust and hatred towards gay men,” decided that dismissal would be overly harsh due to his youth and inexperience.

Instead, the board ordered the officer to pay $10,000 in compensation to his gay colleague and to donate $2,000 to the Victorian Pride Centre.

In their decision, the PRSB stated, “We want to emphasise that the Board considers that actions of this kind would ordinarily justify dismissal.”

However, they took into account the officer’s genuine remorse and his efforts to make amends, concluding that the comments did not reflect his true beliefs, as he was not fundamentally homophobic.

“There is no place for comments like this in the workplace”

Brad Battin, Opposition police spokesman, called for improved education to foster respectful workplace environments.

“There is no place for comments like this in the workplace, and considering the rise in family violence it is vital police take all reports seriously,” Battin said.

A Victoria Police spokeswoman emphasised the organisation’s commitment to LGBTIQA+ community safety and expressed disappointment in the officer’s behaviour.

“There is absolutely no place for degrading and homophobic behaviour in our organisation,” she said.

“We will continue to work closely with LGBTIQA+ communities to enhance trust and improve relationships to increase access to policing services for LGBTIQA+ Victorians.”

Victoria Police mandates extensive inclusivity and awareness training for all officers.

Additionally, new recruits receive mandatory family violence training, which includes handling sensitive cases involving same-sex relationships.

Police Minister Anthony Carbines reinforced the zero-tolerance policy towards homophobic behaviour within Victoria Police.

“There is no place for homophobic behaviour in Victoria Police. Everyone deserves to feel safe and respected at work and Victoria Police is no exception,” he asserted.

 

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