News State Victoria Police chief backs his team after ethical standards head resigns over racist posts

Police chief backs his team after ethical standards head resigns over racist posts

Resigned: Brett Guerin in a radio spot on 3AW Photo: 3AW
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The chief of Victoria police says he has full confidence in his command team despite the resignation of Assistant Commissioner Brett Guerin who posted crude and racist comments on internet chat sites.

Mr Guerin, head of Victoria Police’s ethical standards body, resigned on Monday night after Fairfax Media reported the racist YouTube comments made under the Vernon Demerest, a character from the 1970 film Airport.

Mr Guerin, as Demerest, made sexually graphic and racist comments about AFL, rugby league and cricket games, and separately claimed women should not be allowed to sing the national anthem, Fairfax reported.

“The National Anthem must never be improvised. It must always be sung by a male. A baritone. And accompanied by a band. No argument. No opinion. Just fact,” Demerest wrote.

Chief commissioner Graham Ashton said he would spend today talking to ethnic community leaders and also consulting the human rights commission to “get legal advice onto what we can do to continue to improve the culture at Victoria police”.

“This behaviour is completely unacceptable it is out of line with Victoria police values,” he said.

This, to me, describes the behaviour that is abhorrent. It is the behaviour that is completely and utterly unacceptable at Victoria Police.

“It is behaviour that is not only well below the expectations of anyone at Victoria Police, particularly in relation to a senior command member, it goes without saying, it that obvious …  it is not consistent with our values or the work we have been doing with community over the last several years particularly.

 

Mr Guerin last week publicly apologised for making sexually inappropriate remarks about former chief commissioner Christine Nixon and ex-police union boss Paul Mullett on a website.

“It’s crude and coarse language and, you know, what I’m most ashamed about is my mother and my daughters have read it now,” he told 3AW on Thursday.

“The language I used … was completely inappropriate, embarrassing and I can understand people saying ‘what the hell is this bloke doing?'”

Mr Guerin said he used the alias Demerest because “if I had gone in under my own name, it would have been associated with police”.

In a statement on Monday night, Victoria Police said Mr Guerin’s resignation was linked to an ongoing Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission investigation.

– With AAP