Victoria has a diverse population representing many cultures, experiences and backgrounds.
Victoria Police provides equal and fair access to policing services for all Victorians and visitors to Victoria.
Our commitment to the LGBTIQA+ community
We are committed to improving our relationship with LGBTIQA+ communities, including:
- transgender and gender diverse
- queer, and
We are committed to addressing issues affecting these communities.
How we show our commitment
LGBTIQA+ community consultation
Victoria Police commits to:
- listening to community concerns, and
- working towards shared solutions.
We achieve this by co-ordinating a quarterly LGBTIQA+ Portfolio Reference Group.
This group is made up of key stakeholders from:
- LGBTIQA+ organisations
- government agencies, and
- a trans and gender diverse sub-committee.
What happens at a consultation
Each consultation event has a different focus on intersecting communities, such as:
- family violence
- and more.
We thank the community for sharing their thoughts with us.
We will also report back on our progress.
Victoria Police’s LGBTIQA+ Town Hall
In 2021, we held our first inaugural LGBTIQA+ Town Hall event at the Victorian Pride Centre.
The Town Hall was a chance for community members to engage with us about issues that matter to them. They also gave us feedback about what we can do better.
We are committed to holding an annual Town Hall event. The second Town Hall was held in December 2022, with the theme of multicultural communities. The third Town Hall will be held in December 2023, with the theme of LGBTIQA+ young people.
Submit your feedback
Our commitment to improve confidence and trust in Victoria Police is ongoing. We will continue to work with the community to provide opportunities for engagement.
We'd love to hear any feedback about our work with the LGBTIQA+ community.
2021 LGBTIQA+ Town Hall conversation
See below the several questions and answers from our Town Hall, split into themes:
- Theme 1: A safe, responsive and approachable police service
- Theme 2: Training
- Theme 3: Policing approaches
- Theme 4: Pride
- Theme 5: Police accountability
- Theme 6: Future Town Halls
Theme 1: A safe, responsive and approachable police service
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. What are the police doing in preventing issues with LGBTIQ Communities?
We discuss apologies for Victorian Police's actions based on past behaviour and atrocities. What work is being done to prevent current discrimination?
Victoria Police are committed to improving relationships with priority communities and their experiences with police services.
Priority and Safer Communities Division provides policy advice, practical guidance, and subject matter expertise to ensure that staff act in accordance with Victoria Police standards and meet the needs of LGBTIQA+ communities. It does so with the support and advice of the LGBTIQA+ Portfolio Reference Group.
Priority and Safer Communities Division is also responsible for supporting the expansion and development of the LLO network, which plays a critical role in improving the accessibility of police services and promoting awareness and understanding of LGBTIQA+ communities inside the organisation. The LGBTIQA+ Liaison Officer (LLO) program sees more than 500 police serve as a contact point for LGBTIQA+ communities. LLOs work to create a safe and equal policing service by providing discrete and non-judgemental expert advice in the reporting of crime as well information about support services.
Gender Equality and Inclusion Division also works to ensure that policies, action plans and training programs are in place to provide Victoria Police’s LGBTIQA+ employees with the support they need to be their authentic selves at work.
Victoria Police achieved silver status in the Australian Workplace Equality Index and was recognised as a silver employer at the 2021 Australian LGBTIQA+ Inclusion Awards. This result shows year-on-year improvement from the inaugural participation in the index in 2017 and recognition as a bronze employer in 2019.
Victoria Police has a vibrant and established workplace VP PRIDE Employee Network which creates a safe space for LGBTIQA+ employees to come together, share resources, increase visibility and advocate for improved services. In August 2022, Victoria Police launched our Trans and Gender Diverse Employee Network.
Professional Standards Command, through its Discipline Transformation Project, is reviewing and improving policy settings to ensure that more robust accountabilities and complaints mechanisms are in place to address discriminatory behaviour inside and outside the organisation. The project has already changed the complaints form (available on our page), which asks better questions, including whether the person believes their human rights have been breached.
Our AGMC (Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council) report showed the majority of QPOC (Queer People of Colour) do not feel safe contacting police? What is being done in recruiting and reporting pathways to address LGBTIQ+ POC?
Can you commit to not recruiting people who refuse to sign on to binding codes of conduct that oppose racism, homophobia and transphobia? Breaches of this code from micro aggression through to violent attack result in dismissal. Zero tolerance. It's a workplace, control it.
Victoria Police endeavours to attract and retain staff that are reflective of the community we serve. We have specific recruitment activity to encourage members of culturally and linguistically diverse communities that are under-represented in Victoria Police to join. This includes the Victoria Police Diversity Recruitment Program. You can read more about this initiative through .
As part of the recruitment process, candidates are asked about their understanding of diversity. This is furthered during foundation training with specific units on each of Victoria Police’s priority communities including our Community Encounters program at the police academy, where new recruits learn about and engage with LGBTIQA+ community members from a range of intersecting communities and lived experience.
Victoria Police has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to any form of discriminatory behaviour towards any individual or community group. We do not tolerate it. It's unacceptable. It does not fit within the Victoria Police Code of Ethics. Members have a statutory obligation to report misconduct to Professional Standards Command for investigation. We must abide by the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 and Equal Opportunity Act 2010.
As Deputy Commissioner Paterson stated at the forum, "When we get it wrong, we will call out that behaviour straight away”.
Victorian Family Violence (FV) Royal Commission has resulted in an increased focus on LGBTIQ+ experiences of FV, which is likely to increase LGBTIQ+ people accessing legal protections against abuse. What is Victoria Police doing to increase appropriate police responses to support our community experiencing FV?
Victoria Police takes family violence extremely seriously and will investigate all reports received. We have an internal practice guide for police responding to family violence impacting LGBTIQA+ people.
Family Violence Command has met with Thorne Harbour Health to discuss specific issues, such as misidentification of perpetrators. This work is ongoing and will be done in tandem with the LLOs and LGBTIQA+ Portfolio Reference Group members.
LLOs play a critical role in supporting LGBTIQA+ people reporting family violence. We also work with a range of community organisations, including Thorne Harbour Health, Switchboard, Southside Justice, StarHealth and Orange and Rainbow Door, Queerspace, Positive Living Centre, Queer Family Violence Sector Network, and the Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council.
Will Victoria Police commit to having a full-time LLO position based in each region, including Western and Eastern?
Victoria Police is working towards having a fulltime LLO in each region to support the growth and professional development of the broader LLO network and improve service delivery to LGBTIQA+ communities across Victoria.
Is there a percentage of LLOs that are trans and gender diverse?
Since the first LGBTIQA+ Town Hall in 2021, Victoria Police has established a Trans and Gender Diverse Employee Network. A number of these staff are LLOs. The network creates a safe space for trans and gender diverse employees to come together, share resources, increase visibility and advocate for improved services.
I live in country Vic. Why was I told that I needed to speak to any officer when I asked to speak to a GLLO?
Any police officer in Victoria can take a report of crime or respond to an enquiry, however where a member of the public believe they need specific assistance, an LLO can assist.
The organisation is working towards ensuring there is adequate LLO representation in every region, division, and local police station, however we acknowledge that some of the smaller and more remote stations have limited resources.
Being an LLO is about having the right knowledge, capability, and function to be able to provide a culturally safe, culturally appropriate, and responsive policing service. If a station does not have an LLO, community members can access support through other ways. For example, through the assistance of police members who are allies but not yet LLOs, through the LLO network at a neighbouring station in person, by phone or video conference.
What happens with a nonverbal person with a disability who is LGBTIQ?
Box Hill, Preston and Geelong police stations have achieved Communication Accessibility accreditation by Scope Australia. To achieve accreditation, all front-facing police members undergo training to ensure people who present with communication challenges have equitable access to police services. Accreditation is audited every three years.
While accreditation is at the location level, as trained staff transfer through the accredited location, so do their skills.
Additional sites are currently being considered.
Will Victoria Police institute a guide on legal rights toward trans and gender diverse people (including its staff and members of the public)?
Guidelines for trans and gender diverse people exist in other jurisdictions. Please institute one here.
Victoria Police is committed to an inclusive policing service for all Victorians, and a safe and supportive environment for its employees.
Since the first LGBTIQA+ town hall in 2021, Victoria Police has established a Trans and Gender Diverse Employee Network and committed to creating a more inclusive workplace in the proposed LGBTIQ+ Inclusion Strategy and Action Plan 2023-2024.
Victoria Police has also established a Trans and Gender Diverse Subcommittee of the LGBTIQA+ Portfolio Reference Group to review current policies and guidance relating to the management of trans and gender diverse victims and offenders. We also continue to engage with Transgender Victoria and the Commissioner for LGBTIQA+ Communities to ensure that our training materials meet the needs of the trans and gender diverse community.
Has Victoria Police made any progress with databases allowing for other than M and F to reflect the 2019 Birth Certificate legislation? Are non-binary people recognised by Victoria Police, or are Victoria Police being hampered by relatively antiquated legacy IT systems?
The Victorian Government has changed birth certificate reform to include non-binary - are you saying the Victorian Government hasn’t made this change?
We have been told for more than 10 years the database issues for non-binary people would be addressed. How much longer do we need to wait?
The system changes required to ensure inclusivity, particularly with regard to gender markers, is part of a wider government response. The Victorian Government LGBTIQ+ Strategy implementation plan (Pride in our future) includes an action for whole-of-government (led by the Department of Health) to implement best practice standards for data collection across government, ensuring systems and forms use inclusive language and appropriate collection methodologies for sex, gender, gender identity, and sexuality.
The strategy includes an action for Victoria Police in partnership with the Department of Justice and Community Safety (DJCS) to investigate and determine the necessary funding for IT system changes, and implement a strategy ensuring data is collected in a way that is inclusive of LGBTIQA+ people. The initial action of determining scope is required within the first three years of Pride in our future, which commenced in 2022. Victoria Police and DJCS are working towards a longer-term strategy that includes outcomes relating to both system and service improvement for LGBTIQA+ people accessing and engaging with Victoria Police.
Theme 2: Training
Will Victoria Police commit to making its currently optional LGBTIQ+ Awareness and Allies training sessions compulsory, starting with managers?
There are Community Encounter days to train officers but when they go to stations they are faced with their sergeants & chiefs who need to meet their targets.
All newly promoted Senior Sergeants and Inspectors are required to deepen their knowledge and understanding of priority communities through the compulsory Police Managers Qualifying Program (PMQP). This includes a community engagement exercise to understand challenges facing priority communities and develop strategies to meet community needs. LGBTIQA+ community representatives participate in that program.
Victoria Police are committed to ensuring all employees have the support, tools, and information to provide a culturally safe policing service that is responsive to the needs of community. This extends to LGBTIQA+ awareness programs and resources established by Priority and Safer Communities Division.
We’ve heard about accountability and change, but you’ve also told us training the entire membership in these issues isn’t feasible. How can we build trust and accountability without training (especially preventing transphobic incidents)?
If the service is being delivered without the training that may impact the delivery, isn't that counterproductive?
If the police plan to truly seek education and reform, surely there should be more than six training days a year - especially considering the variety of communities you're working with. Will you seek to improve the amount of training police undergo, with a focus on community?
What are police doing to address cultural bias and safety within the organisation, to ensure people in community are treated fairly?
Inner city police officers may be more 'queer friendly,' but regional, rural and remote may not be. How do you hope to better train and educate those officers?
LGBTIQA+ awareness is built into foundation training for recruits. This includes Community Encounters, which involves police recruits engaging with representatives from priority communities. Members of LGBTIQA+ communities participate in this program.
In support of Victoria’s whole-of-government LGBTIQ+ strategy 2022-2032, Victoria Police has committed to improved police responses to LGBTIQA+ communities through LGBTIQA+ awareness and sensitivity training for Victoria Police staff.
We are developing a state-wide awareness and information package for all frontline members and employees, based on the current LLO package which was developed in partnership with Thorne Harbour Health.
This is supplemented by additional resources provided on Victoria Police’s online platforms, including our Learning Hub and Community Support Hub, which provide a range fact sheets, training videos and practical guidance on how to respectfully engage LGBTIQA+ community members with consideration given to intersectionality.
Victoria Police offers additional awareness sessions, available in-person or virtually, to all members of Victoria Police on LGBTIQA+ days of significance, including Wear it Purple Day, IDAHOBIT and Trans Awareness Week. Victoria Police will continue to work with Pride in Diversity on these sessions.
This is a flexible learning environment in which our training materials, content, and methods are constantly reviewed to ensure they are accessible, up to date and fit for purpose.
In addition to LGBTIQA+ specific material, training and resources are available to support an understanding of Victoria Police obligations under the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities (with a specific module for staff involved in custody operations) and exercising appropriate judgement and decision making (including the impact of biases). All staff are required to undertake mandatory training on ‘Courageous Ethical Decision Making’. Factsheets and other resources are available to support this formal training.
Mandatory requirements are also captured in various places within the Victoria Police Manual.
Our training packages are developed for and delivered to all employees state-wide to ensure consistency. We have a highly mobile workforce where many members are deployed from metropolitan to country locations providing opportunity to share diverse experiences and encourage positive social learning.
Will Victoria Police commit to providing annual refresher training for existing LLOs (as recommended by the Policing for SSASGD Young Victorians Report)?
An information package for LLOs has been developed in conjunction with Thorne Harbour Health. This was successfully trialled in 2022 with formal implementation to occur in late 2023.
The proposed expansion of the full-time LLOs will support ongoing professional development of all LLOs.
Theme 3: Policing approaches
Do Victoria Police commit to publishing the beats policy?
In 2022, Victoria Police developed a Policing Beats Factsheet to provide practical guidance to its frontline members. This was developed with input from the LGBTIQA+ Portfolio Reference Group before being finalised and published on the Victoria Police Intranet.
The formal Victoria Police beats policy (within the Victoria Police Manual) is being reviewed with input from the LGBTIQA+ Portfolio Reference Group. The review will ensure the policy is contemporary and meets the needs of the community. Once complete, the policy will be made public in line with the commitment made by Deputy Commissioner Paterson at the 2021 town hall.
Please clarify when and why police raid gay beats? Is having sex in public a crime?
When did public sex become criminal, as such?
Will Victoria Police advocate to Government that it decriminalises sex at beats?
Obscene Exposure / Sexual Exposure is considered a public order offence, s19 of the Summary Offences Act 1966 (Vic). A person must not wilfully and obscenely expose the genital area of his or her body in, or within the view of a public place. Offences relating to sex in public date back to 1865.
Victoria Police will continue to engage with community organisations such as Thorne Harbour Health and the Victorian Commissioner for LGBTIQ+ Communities to ensure its management of beats promotes community safety and meets community expectations.
If you cannot “pick and choose” what laws you enforce (re question re decriminalisation of sex work) how do you explain the “discretion” employed at beats re public sex as a criminal act?
Victoria Police has committed to releasing a revised Victoria Police beats policy (within the Victoria Police Manual) so that the community see the factors members are required to consider when policing beats. This will demonstrate the required balance between responding to community complaints and protecting the safety of beat users.
Police have discretion when dealing with low level offences, and in some cases, charges may not be the most appropriate course of action.
Members are encouraged to consider:
- a warning
- a discussion with the person about the effects of their behaviour on others at the location
- educating the beat user around the responsibilities that accompany the right to use a public space and the impacts on the community
- referrals to relevant services such as Thorne Harbour Health.
Sex work will be decriminalised in the next two years. Will Victoria Police commit to an immediate moratorium on enforcing the criminalisation of all sex workers from now?
The first stage commenced on 10 May 2022 and includes:
- the decriminalisation of street-based sex work in most locations
- the repeal of offences for working with a sexually transmitted infection and requirements to undergo regular STI testing
- the repeal of offences for individual sex workers not using safer sex practices
- the repeal of the small owner-operator sex work service provider register
- changes to advertising controls applicable to the sex work industry
- amendments to the Equal Opportunity Act 2010.
The second stage is expected to commence in December 2023 and will include:
- abolishing the sex work service provider licensing system by repealing the Sex Work Act 1994
- re-enacting offences relating to children and coercion in other legislation to ensure their continued operation following repeal of the Sex Work Act 1994
- changes to planning controls to treat sex service businesses like other businesses
- the establishment of appropriate liquor controls for the sex work industry
- the repeal of brothel and escort agency provisions in the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 to remove specific sex work industry controls.
Victoria Police can apply discretion, taking into account community safety and the circumstances of each individual case.
What are Victoria Police doing to improve reporting and prosecutions of LGBTIQ prejudice-motivated crime, noting that there have only been two convictions?
Will Victoria Police institute mandatory data recording and reporting around prejudice-motivated crime, including incidents directed against LGBTIQ victims?
Will Victoria Police lead change via a mass campaign condemning violence against LGBTIQA+ people (including trans people), by any member of the public?
Victoria Police recognise that not all victims will voluntarily disclose that they believe a crime against them was motivated by prejudice. The successful prosecution of prejudice motivated crime starts with victims reporting crime to police and indicating their belief (or providing evidence that) the offending was motivated by hate or prejudice.
Police members also need to be attuned to evidence of the motivation during the interview and investigation. Whether a person is convicted of a crime motivated by prejudice is a matter for the courts; noting that prejudice is an aggravator to any crime rather than a crime of itself.
To encourage reporting, Victoria Police released a video in November 2021, in 10 community languages. The video depicts a range of priority community groups in recognition that offences may be wide ranging. The videos are available on our page. The LGBTIQA+ Portfolio Reference Group received notification when this resource was launched.
Launch of the videos was accompanied by internal communications intended to improve members’ recognition of prejudice motivations.
Victoria Police is developing options to reinforce these messages, including options to improve data capture.
In addition to Victoria Police activity, the Victorian government’s Inquiry into Anti-Vilification Protections is reviewing the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001. The Inquiry is considering expanding the protections to other communities, including LGBTIQA+ communities.
Theme 4: Pride
Why is Victoria Police insistent on marching in Pride against community wishes?
Why, during Pride March, do police march in a militaristic, aggressive way in full uniform which is distressing to many when the event is celebratory and joyful?
Why is it important for police officers to march in uniform at Pride March when they've been repeatedly told it causes distress and harm? Especially when no other organisations march in their uniforms.
A lobby report shows that 75% surveyed don’t support Victoria Police marching in uniform at Pride. Will Victoria Police commit to not marching in uniform at 2022 Pride March?
Given that three quarters of LGBTIQA+ people don’t want police marching in uniform at Pride, when will Victoria police take the hint and stop marching?
Victoria Police members have been part of Pride March since its inception in 1996, with members participating in uniform since 2002. The vast majority of police employees who participate in Pride March are LGBTIQA+ community members, including many LLOs, with some having participated in Pride March for more than 20 years.
Victoria Police’s participation in Pride March demonstrates to our staff that LGBTIQA+ employees are welcome, can be their authentic selves, and that discrimination is not tolerated. It is also signals to LGBTIQA+ communities that Victoria Police is committed to being an inclusive and diverse organisation that reflects the community we serve.
Victoria Police’s attendance in uniform is consistent with other emergency service organisations. Victoria Police acknowledges concerns expressed by some LGBTIQA+ organisations and individuals that the uniform police presence can appear militaristic or intimidating. In a genuine effort to address community concerns, since 2022, Victoria Police participants do not march in ceremonial uniform, do not march in formation or wear operational equipment. Our new approach includes having employees walking casually, waving or handing out rainbow flags and interacting with the crowd.
The institution of Victoria Police is not “community”. Individual cops may be but Victoria Police is not. Get off the flag.
Whose permission did Victoria Police get to do that to our flag? You wouldn’t do it to any other flag?
The rainbow flag has become a worldwide symbol of LGBTIQA+ pride. When it was designed by Gilbert Baker in the 1970s, Baker purposely did not copyright the design so that it would remain free for public use and could belong to everyone in the LGBTIQA+ community.
The Victoria Police Pride Network flag is an important symbol of pride for Victoria Police’s internal LGBTIQA+ community. It demonstrates the organisation’s support for and celebration of Victoria Police’s LGBTIQA+ employees, so that everyone can bring to their authentic selves to work.
Theme 5: Police accountability
How public and transparent is too public and transparent? We know that organisations and groups that are anti-LGBTQI will weaponise anything they can. How do we develop and institute reform without creating giant targets on our own backs?
Victoria Police is committed to working with the community on reform – both to identify areas in need of change and to co-design solutions. For LGBTIQA+ communities, this work is primarily done through the LGBTIQA+ Portfolio Reference Group.
This group is a platform to identify issues, develop and test solutions, and build knowledge to inform and enhance our service delivery. This includes developing LLO education packages in partnership with Thorne Harbour Health, a Policing Beats Factsheet developed with input from LGBTIQA+ PRG members, and a video on LGBTIQA+ family violence produced by Switchboard Victoria.
This is reinforced through the Neighbourhood Policing Framework’s emphasis on working with local partners to develop local solutions to local issues.
Victoria Police avoid accountability by sending queer factions to these events. To what extent will this tangibly feed into weeding out racists & transphobes from force?
High level organisational support for events like the 2021 town hall, Pride March and Midsumma Carnival have significantly contributed to cultural change within Victoria Police. Strong internal leadership, policy development and training, and internal oversight as well as scrutiny from VEOHRC, IBAC, courts and the media have all played a part in promoting transparency and ensuring accountability.
Tangible changes in culture are evident in the increasing number and visibility of LGBTIQA+ employees - particularly at senior levels of the organisation. Victoria Police has a thriving LGBTIQA+ employee network and a growing Trans and Gender Diverse Employee Network. In 2021, Victoria Police received a silver award in the Australian Workplace Equality Index administered by Pride in Diversity. This could not occur within a largely homophobic or transphobic culture.
Victoria Police supports its employees to learn from genuine errors of judgement but does not support or tolerate misconduct, such as homophobic or transphobic behaviour. Misconduct is investigated by Professional Standards Command, and is taken very seriously, resulting in disciplinary action including reprimands, demotion and dismissal.
Queer opposition to Victoria Police is bigger than the experiences of our community. When do we acknowledge policing & punitive justice causes more harm than good?
Victoria Police appreciates some members of the LGBTIQA+ community have negative perceptions of police. We acknowledge their trauma and hurt, and the impact of past events that have caused harm.
We understand the community’s perception of police is impacted by personal experience, something they have witnessed, something they have heard or read about – and that those second or third hand experiences may be in Victoria, Australia or overseas.
Victoria Police has a legal requirement to respond to requests for community assistance, within the laws set by government. We are committed to making sure we deliver a fair and equitable service to everybody.
Developing a shared understanding of community concerns and policing responses is the driver of the town hall initiative. We will continue to engage, in good faith, to that end.
We don’t need DJs on Pride floats. We need commitment to organisation wide training to prevent transphobic incidents and real accountability for brutality and deaths in custody.
A death in custody is investigated by the Homicide Squad and Professional Standards Command, in addition to an independent coronial inquest.
The Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody made 70 recommendations affecting Police. Although most have been acquitted by Victoria Police, there are a small number of recommendations still being worked on.
Victoria Police reported on all applicable recommendations of the Royal Commission to the Koori Justice Unit Working Group in March 2023 to seek a self-determined acquittal of Victoria Police actions. Not withstanding these recommendations were in reference to Aboriginal deaths in custody, implementation of the recommendations will also impact others in custody, including non-Aboriginal LGBTIQA+ people.
Any concerns around police actions should be reported. Information on complaint options, including through the Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC), is available on our page. Complaints lodged are considered by Professional Standards Command.
In regards to organisational training, we are developing a state-wide LGBTIQA+ awareness and information package for all frontline members and employees in conjunction with Thorne Harbour Health.
If there was an instance of officers being homophobic or transphobic, would Victoria Police inform community or would Victoria Police keep it secret?
Will you immediately arrest and charge police officers who use excessive force against LGBTQIA+ or First Nations People? If not, why not?
All people are afforded access to natural justice. When allegations of police misconduct are raised, they are investigated. Where that investigation confirms misconduct has occurred, Victoria Police has discipline options available. This includes referring the matter to the Office of Public Prosecution for criminal prosecution.
When a Victoria Police employee is charged with a criminal offence, on or off duty, it is published in a media release to the Victoria Police website and court details are provided to media on request.
Why was no disciplinary action initiated against any member of Victoria Police’s CIRT following Victoria Police's botched 2019 raid on Hares & Hyenas and Nik Dimopoulos?
Why would you ever need to raid a business and break a person's arm over a stolen car? How is that proportionate?
Victoria Police’s Professional Standards Command referred this incident to IBAC.
This incident was investigated by IBAC and Commissioner Redlich’s finding was "the force used by police in restraining Mr Dimopoulos was not disproportionate to the officers' objective of arresting Mr Dimopoulos, as the police involved reasonably believed such force was necessary to arrest a person who was struggling with police".
Given the IBAC finding, no disciplinary action was taken against any member involved in the incident.
You talk about accountability but many of us have had complaints put to police and had them dismissed or little has changed.
Professional Standards Command are updating the policies relating to the complaints and discipline system as part of the Discipline Transformation Project. The updated policies will better reflect the expectations of our community by ensuring that complaints involving allegations of discrimination and breaches of human rights committed by Victoria Police employees will be treated seriously.
In addition to investigating complaints of misconduct and poor behaviour, investigators will be required to identify and specifically address associated allegations of discrimination and/or breaches of human rights committed by Victoria Police employees as part of the complaint investigation.
Neil just said "Everybody is deserving of dignity and respect." So where was Danielle Laidley's dignity and respect?
Victoria Police's transphobic shaming of Danielle Laidley is not ancient history. It happened around a month ago. Why should police be trusted with queer people at all?
Victoria Police has publicly acknowledged that Danielle Laidley was not shown dignity or respect at St Kilda Police Station in 2020.
What happened to Ms Laidley while in custody at St Kilda police station was completely unacceptable. Those members who were charged went through a robust disciplinary process. Some members were suspended, and three members no longer work for Victoria Police. The remaining members who sent or received the images of Ms Laidley were compelled to attend a course called Protecting Dignity and Respect. The course was developed by the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights and Commission (VEOHRC) in conjunction with Victoria Police. These members were each ordered to pay Danielle amounts up to $3000.
Victoria Police have engaged with Ms Laidley to feature in training materials based on her experiences. The material will be used to assist training of all police recruits attending the Victoria Police Academy.
Does Victoria Police support or commit to a truth telling process to uncover and document Victoria Police harassment and abuse towards the LGBTIQ community more fully?
Truth telling is important in any process to reform. Will police admit that you are still violent against us rather than frame the violence as historical?
This is exactly the aim of having a town hall styled forum. It is a genuine effort to engage with community and hear the voices and shared stories of those who are fearful or afraid of police, whether that be through historical or contemporary mistreatment by police.
It is incredibly important to Victoria Police to listen and try to approach discussions with a trauma informed approach. We are committed to listening to the hard stories so we can work through them together to improve.
If any member of community experience violence committed by a Victoria Police employee, we would encourage them to report it to Victoria Police’s Professional Standards Command or IBAC and it will be fully investigated.
The State Government Apology for laws against homosexual acts includes funds to document the history and impact of these laws. Can this be extended to the history and impact of Victoria Police harassment of the LGBTIQ+ community?
The apology by Graham Ashton was not heartfelt. No community were invited. Half of it was a video of Victoria Police in rainbows. Ashton didn’t engage with community on it. He stumbled over acronyms and clearly hadn’t read through it properly. It was a PR event.
Neil emphasised that Victoria Police has apologised for past practices. Saying sorry means not doing again but Victoria Police has continued to perpetrate violence against us.
Former Chief Commissioner Mr Graham Ashton AM APM, received a letter signed by several organisations, most of which were members of the LGBTIQA+ Portfolio Reference Group. The letter recommended Victoria Police apologise to LGBTIQA+ communities for past trauma and hurt caused to LGBTIQA+ people who had been bullied, harassed, penalised and in some cases unprovoked attacks by police. The LGBTIQA+ Portfolio Reference Group supported the apology.
In August 2019, the then Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton apologised to LGBTIQA+ communities for past trauma and hurt caused by Police.
The formal apology was delivered at a community event where many LGBTIQA+ organisations and community members were invited.
Theme 6: Future Town Halls
Will Victoria Police make this town hall meeting an annual event?
Will future panels and consultations ensure that there is a more diverse cross section represented in discussions? Today is far from reflective of the community.
With small attendance at this forum, what efforts will be made to more openly engage with the community? It seems this event is not fit for purpose to offer genuine engagement.
Will you commit to hearing from community attendees in person, verbally? Panel members beholden to niceties and terms of engagement, disempowers the severity of concern community members hold. Let's hear from the people facing mistreatment from Victoria Police.
Victoria Police committed to holding an LGBTIQA+ town hall at least once a year. The first town hall event was held in December 2021 at the Victorian Pride Centre, and the second event was a reverse town hall in December 2022 that focused on the experiences of LGBTIQA+ multicultural communities.
The annual community town hall style event will occur alongside other community engagement opportunities.
The planning and development of the 2021 town hall was significantly impacted by COVID-19. Modifications had to be made to the number of people who could attend (in person) and the delivery method. For example, the sli.do tool was used for community participation due to the risk of COVID-19 exposure from a roving microphone. The tool also allows for people to submit questions anonymously and enabled participation by people who did not want to talk publicly.
With COVID-19 infections down and restrictions eased, roving microphones have returned to Victoria Police events. Sli.do may be used alongside microphones at future events to mitigate similar risks and provide opportunity for anonymity.
Request a LGBTIQA+ liaison officer (LLO) for a community event
Community events are important to us and we encourage event organisers to notify police early.
This ensures the safety of an event and help us identify community engagement opportunities, such as LBGTIQ+ liaison officers (LLOs) attending.
LLOs provide discrete, non-judgemental advice and support. They can also provide information about support services.
For small, local events, event organisers should contact the local police station in the area the event is being held.
Victoria Police LGBTIQ+ Inclusion Action Plan 2023-2024
Reviewed 10 November 2023